Comment 68413

By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted August 24, 2011 at 15:05:12 in reply to Comment 68359

The quality one admires in old low-rise/home stone masonry buildings may be difficult to replicate in our economy which is geared to low-cost/high margin, mass production -- where the term 'quality' is now synonymous with "custom work", a code word for high cost, stone-cladding and fake arches.

If you stand below load-bearing masonry arches you can almost feel the weight of the stones/bricks as you stand under them. Stand below the new "custom job" arches one sees all over nowadays and you will feel no weight above you. Try it out next time you pass an arch!

The old art of making load-bearing masonry building has simply faded away, and is replaced mainly with masonry work for surface cladding factory cut stones or bricks in homes and landscape work - which simply does not have the same feel of old masonry work.

Will such skills come back? I doubt it - given the economics of our construction industry. However, for those interested in contemporary masonry, there is a still a good career to be made in this field.

There is also the rare instance in North America of load-bearing stone masonry - a work-in-progress, affectionately called "St. John's the Unfinished", where new techniques to carve stone were adopted in an attempt to complete the work started in 1892.

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-08-24 15:06:10

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