Answer to Preservation Pop Quiz

The most recent Preservation Pop Quiz asked you to describe the brickwork seen here:

The reason for this quiz was mostly because I didn’t know the answer, and wanted some good preservation colleague input. If you read the comments, you’ll notice that there was a good discussion occurring, with good sources shared. Hopefully everyone learned something new and enjoyed participating and/or reading.

Now, I’m not about to declare myself an expert and give you the “proper” description. But I will go over the brick courses above, based on information gathered from the comments. Feel free to chime in with your opinions. Since Paula wrote the National Register nomination, I’ll defer to her for approval.

The top 10 (or 11 – the picture is difficult to count) rows of brick are “corbeled brick courses.”

The rows with recessed bricks are “stylized, repeating cross shaped recesses in the brick bond.”

The next course below (the brick headers set at a 45 degree angle) are set in a “houndstooth pattern” or “sawtooth pattern.”  (Anyone know the difference or are they interchangeable?) 

The tall bricks are in a soldier bond (referring to those angled to show soldiers and sailors) are set in a sawtooth pattern, as well.

So, yes, this is a complicated brick cornice filled with detailed brickwork. Ten corbeled courses, a recessed cross-shape pattern in the brick, a course of headers set in houndstooth/sawtooth pattern, and a course of soldiers set in the same pattern.

What do you think now?  Good, or shall we refine it more?

8 thoughts on “Answer to Preservation Pop Quiz

  1. jane says:

    I like it.
    I especially like the choice of ‘sawtooth’ and ‘houndstooth’ because they are strong enough words to describe brick.
    Perhaps ‘sawtooth’ and ‘houndstooth’ are like ‘soldier’ and ‘sailor’, referring to different facades of the brick,

    If a more technical definition – one that described the positions of the bricks – could be found for the stylized section, I would certainly want to read it.

    The pattern books of the period include illustrations of such brick work with no written descriptions. Perhaps that was as much as a mason needed.

  2. Thomas Rosell says:

    Don’t tell a University of Alabama Alumni that a houndstooth and a sawtooth are interchangeable 🙂

    Great cornice. Thank you for sharing it with us, and challenging everyone to help define it.

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