88 State Circle was built during a time of economic turmoil and is an unusually well constructed, late 19th century building with numerous fine and expensive details.
To restore 88 State Circle's historic brick façade, we used Arbortech's plunge tool to remove the improper Portland Cement. Grinders can cut too easily and might injure the historic brick. The Portland Cement was replaced with a more durable and historically appropriate lime mortar. Eroded bricks were carefully patched to match the original brick's color and texture.
A small but important detail, we cut the mortar's joint profile - the sealed space connecting each brick - to match the original historic bricks. This was an important feature of the original façade and well worth preserving. A mortar joint allows water to shed away and can be an attractive part of the wall's design, drawing the eye to the brick or mortar as desired.
Below, please find historical images of 88 State Circle, as well as a brief talk with Julie Butler, DRC Mid-Atlantic Preservation Director, on the difference between lime mortar and Portland Cement, how water can damage a brick edifice, and the steps we take to carefully restore historic brick surfaces.