Chris Blaine of Top Hat Masonry Repair, at right, leads rebricking work on 5 S. Main Street. Photo by Phil Custodio
When work is complete on 5 S. Main Street, home of The Clarkston News, the building will be full brick on all four sides, just like it was when it was new in the late 1870s.
“The goal now is to rebuild the entire back and sides of the building, with all stucco removed,” said Chris Blaine, owner of Top Hat Masonry Repair. “It will take a few years to restore the brick exterior.”
The work started in May 2016 after brick was found falling off the back of the building because of a water leak from the roof.
“It was originally a smaller area to try to keep the wall from deteriorating further,” Blaine said.
This year, they discovered more water infiltrating behind the stucco from above.
“The stucco was holding the water back, leading to failure of the brick,” he said.
They plan to lay about 10,000 bricks this year, all reclaimed from old buildings in Detroit to match the 1870s structure, bound with historically correct lime mortar produced by Edison Coatings, as required by the Clarkston Historic District Commission.
This stage of the work will take another 3-4 weeks, until about the end of June, Blaine said.
“It’s moving right along,” he added.
– Phil Custodio