Tag Archives: mortar

Tuckpointing: A Church in Fayette, NY 13065


After seeing some other Tuckpointing in Seneca Falls, NY, I was driving past this interesting church and decided to poke around. The small placard says that the stone tower was added in 1882 but I am not sure if all the stone and brick were added then or not. Either way its safe to say that the Tuckpointing is at least this from 1882. This pictures show the masonry elements that reflect similar architecture with tuckpointing in the area, and would fall in line with tuckpointing on churches in the region. The evidence on this façade is slim. However, it is faintly noticed as a bed joint under some of the corbelled brickwork and only a few inches remain around the doorway.

The address for this structure is 4350 Ovid street (NY-414) Fayette, NY 13065

Tuckpointing: Brick chimney at 409 E. Buffalo

Even when masonry is not the focus of buildings architecture, the necessity of a chimney provides an opportunity for high quality details to be carried out. In this case Tuckpointing was well executed on the brick chimney. While this expression of the masonry craft is a little tarnished, details are still well preserved on under the eaves, where protection from the elements is greatest. Take note that on the face of the chimney with the greatest exposures; the tuckpointing is nearly completely gone, leaving behind only the unifying red colorwash. This gives a muted appearance and an undoubtable suggestion that perhaps the best approach to “fixing” this artwork is to simply paint it red, as was once done in the past to the section above the roof line. Such practices can accelerate decay by causing excess moisture to be trapped in the masonry units (i.e. Brick) and lead to spalling and of course peeling paint.

Also not if you zoom in closely, there a small amount of tuckpointing on the stone Foundation

Cemetery Preservation

Last summer in 2015 Randy Ruth worked with Historic Ithaca to through its Work Preserve program, and collaborated with Friends of Ithaca Cemetery to bring two pairs of youth volunteers to help repair nearly 40 various monuments. Ithaca Journal ran an article about the restoration campaign.

You can read about it here…


You can see a list of all the documented repairs with before and after photos here…


Tuckpointing: Stone Foundation at 412 State St.

The work done on this foundation is far from being in great condition or of the highest caliber. However, that doesn’t mean it should get a mention and be recorded. Here some photos from the west facing elevation of the foundation. It should be noted that there was nothing noticeably preserved on the east side. However, there is clear evidence of black stopping mortar that has weathered relatively well.


Tuckpointing: Stone Foundation at 420 Seneca St.

This is a great example of tuckpointing, in that it was done to what might be relegated today as an unworthy section of the house. Looking at the entire area of exposed stone it’s amazing that the time and effort would have been put into such a small area. With only a few square feet exposed directly to the street to be seen by pedestrians and much of the surface area exposed to the neighboring house, it exemplifies the perfection sought out by builders and the expectations owners had of craftsmanship.

What’s also great about this example is the cross section that can be seen on the exposed and worn corner, showing the beaded joint profile.

Tuckpointing: 140 College Avenue (The John Snaith House) PT. I

This building caught my eye, in part due to a recent addition to the opposite side of the building in the photo. After a bit of research, it became evident that this was the home of John Snaith. He was a local builder / Architect / contractor and tradesman from England, was originally in town to do work at Llenroc. Some of the projects he worked on in Ithaca show examples of brick Tuckpointing and 1st rate stone work. A great example is at 405 S. Albany St. (Will showcase at a later date). I believe Snaith along with classically trained architects like Charles Babcock and William Henry Miller, often used Tuckpointing on their structures where possible. So it should be of no surprise that the house John Snaith built for himself would showcase this technique

Now I know I only have one photo of this example but I do plan on going back and writing a part II on this one, so hold to your hats. Until then you can focus on the photo along the roofline above the porch, where a patch exists about 4ft wide and 1.5ft high. Or better yet take a look at this detail for yourself next time you go by.


Tuckpointing and bonus foundation: Rochester, NY

On a recent visit to Rochester, NY I noticed this gem of a building. While at first sight it may appear ordinary in its joint profile, further examination under the porch showed evidence of a well done tuckpoint joint, that has faded. there is also some evidence of a colorwash or stain that was applied to the brickwork and stopping mortar and has since faded. Alternatively this could be evidence that the red stopping mortar incorporated a red pigment which has almost completely faded. Only the proper sampling and examination of one of these mortar joints could offer some complete answer.


Also notice the pictures of a limestone foundation with a black beaded joint profile. This building is located behind the tuckpointed prick building. In fact you can see the rear of the building in the last photo. 

 Memorial Day Obelisk Repair

This past Memorial Day at Ithaca City Cemetery a great turn out of volunteers appeared to help clean and preform some maintenance. I can’t confirm the total number but from what I gathered it was near two dozen people who came and went, over the three hour morning volunteer period. Most of the time I spent was working on resetting a small obelisk about 3 ½ feet tall. The limestone base was in three pieces with the marble socket completely detached. The base stone was mortared together with a neat roman cement and the infilled with a pigmented roman cement to match the host base stone, to provide stability to the marble socket. The repaired base stone was leveled in gravel and sand. The marble socket was set with a Natural Hydraulic Lime 3.5 mixed with marble aggregate, on top of the base and then the obelisk set in the same mix. The color of the patch looked good after completion but I checked it a week later and it is indistinguishable from the host stone.

Check back soon for more photos to see how the patch has cured to match and the application of D/2 Biological Solution has cleaned up the marble.

Obelisk as found
Obelisk as found
Obelisk as found memorial day 2015
Obelisk as found memorial day 2015
Obelisk repair memorial day 2015
Obelisk repair memorial day 2015
Obelisk repair
Obelisk repair
Repair with Roman Cement and Natural Hydraulic Lime 3.5
Repair with Roman Cement and Natural Hydraulic Lime 3.5
Repair with Roman Cement and Natural Hydraulic Lime 3.5
Repair with Roman Cement and Natural Hydraulic Lime 3.5