What the Heck? (Volume 3)

Posted by in The Unusual | October 07, 2019

“What the Heck?” is a series of articles that discuss things I have experienced that are troubling to me.

For example, I drive by a building on Leavitt Road regularly (see featured photograph). In fact, I looked forward to checking its progress as I drove by. It held my attention because of its size (larger than a lot of stand alone buildings) and the use of clay brick for the walls. I enjoy looking at clay masonry construction. It is such a beautiful material.

The building appears to house offices for a number of unions and related organizations for workers in the construction industry, one being bricklayers. So, what I have to write here is troubling to me.

Now, the front of the building has magnificent patterns of brickwork ( see featured photograph ); however, the mortar joints for the brick work on the sides leaves much to be desired. Patches/clusters of mortar joints are of a different color and even appear to be larger in thickness (Figure 1). It detracts from the beauty of the building. This pattern is disturbing even to my wife who is not at all associated to the construction except through me.

Figure 1 Mortar joints not uniform in appearance, but exhibit appearance of patches.

I would have thought that the masons working on this would have done an exceptional job on a building that bears the name of their chosen profession. But, unfortunately it did not happen. What happened? Where was the quality control? How did this pass? Is this the best masonry can do?

Surely, there must be a way to blend those joint in a little better so that this building can be a monument to the beauty of clay brick masonry and the masonry profession.

Like I said, “What the heck?”