Elvas Tower: First route tour - Elvas Tower

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#21 User is offline   rfranzosa 

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 04:29 PM

View PostGman347, on 12 September 2012 - 03:52 PM, said:

It is very common to see a finished, hard fired, face brick on the front or street faces of buildings in Chicago with side and rear faces being what we would call common brick.


I always wondered what that term meant. There's a facility along the former New Haven Armory Branch in the E. Hartford / S. Windsor, CT area called 'K F Face Brick'.

Now I know!

Rick

#22 User is offline   Gman347 

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 06:25 AM

In constructing a brick masonry wall multiple thicknesses of 4" brick, known as "wythes", are layed up side by side to achieve the desired overall wall thickness. At a minimum, walls would likely be 8" thick or two "wythes" of 4" brick. As buildings got taller the walls needed to get thicker so additional 4" "wythes" were then added. A standard brick is 4" wide by 8" long so at regular intervals the bricks were rotated 90 degrees as they were laid up to bond the "wythes" together.

Different types of "face" brick would have various finishes and colors as desired by the architect who designed the building. To achieve those finishes would obviously involve additional cost and, depending on the final look of the brick, it could be substantially more expensive than a "common" brick which was simply formed from clay with no special attention to the finish. So when constructing a brick wall the inner thicknesses or "wythes" that would never be seen were made of "common" brick and only the outer, visible "wythe" was made of the more expensive "face" brick. As an additional means of economy, since very often the side and rear faces of the building were not very visible, they were constructed entirely of the less expensive "common" brick.

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