New York City has 8,250,000 people and 975,000 buildings.
It also has the only high school program in the country for hands-on masonry preservation, building conservation and green sustainable construction.
This blog offers a glimpse into that program.

The textbook developed from the curriculum and lessons: "Masonry History Integrity An Urban
Conservation Primer" is a free download at this web site:

The recent entries are in the LinkedIn Group: Masonry History Integrity & Urban Conservation.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Session #8 Terra Cotta

Curriculum and Activities
· Architectural terra cotta - It's definition, history, use, ingredients, manufacturing, installation, deterioration, preservation and reproduction.
· The process of making terra cotta.

The materials

Cleaning terra cotta to be duplicated

Applying release agent

Form prepared for making plaster mold

Mixing plaster

Pouring plaster into form

Removing terra cotta and plaster mold

Releasing terra cotta from plaster mold

Terra cotta released from mold

Preparing terra cotta "clay" dough

Pressing "clay" dough into mold

Clay released from mold resembles...
Original terra cotta in form

History and Integrity:

Following the sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine (1898) at the onset of the Spanish American War, Lieutenant Andrew Summers Rowan was ordered to "Take a message to Garcia" to enlist General Garcia's support. He succeeded.
These are excerpts from Elbert Hubbard’s article, "Take a message to Garcia."

Without asking where is he? What does he look like? Who are his contacts? How do I get there he (Rowan) simply took the orders and did what he was asked to do.”

Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted. His kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let me go. He is wanted in every city, town, and village; in every office, shop store and factory. The world cries out for such. He is needed and needed badly, the man who can carry a message to Garcia.”

A class discussion followed on the characteristics of dependability, resourcefulness and ingenuity.

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