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Old 02-09-2013, 08:57 AM   #61
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Re: old buildings


I am kind of afraid to see how deteriorated it is at this point. I still have a feeling that the Thompson building is solid, but I can't say much for the Lowe building. It has a wonderful commercial space in the lower level (after some repairs to the showcase window area, shouldn't be too hard). Obviously there is no saving anything on the top floor. Those broken windows concern me on the upper floor of the Lowe building, don't know if pigeons have made their way in. If so, hope they haven't found their way to the Thompson building. Don't know how a problem like that could be handled. "Rifle practice" in the city is not the best idea. If I were to purchase it, I might seal the roof with some sheet metal, something to keep it from leaking more into the commercial space temporarily. The commercial space could be repaired, and rented for income. The upper levels would just remain sealed-off for the time being.

The link you gave me only takes me to the home page. If the below link works, it is to the search of "Braslawsce" that shows the brothers own several properties in the area. Most of which are on the second page. I know they at least own the men's pants shop at 520 Market Street. I looked up the two parcel ID's you gave me in your last post. You are saying that 522 Sixth and Market is the corner building? The long side of it faces Sixth street, while the front and the Lowe building face Market street to clarify. I hope they have been paying the taxes! If not, I hope they have quit recently. In that case, I can buy it for back taxes and save some money, maybe. http://www.columbianacntyauditor.org...ner=BRASLAWSCE


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Old 02-09-2013, 09:15 AM   #62
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Re: old buildings


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I am kind of afraid to see how deteriorated it is at this point. I still have a feeling that the Thompson building is solid, but I can't say much for the Lowe building. It has a wonderful commercial space in the lower level (after some repairs to the showcase window area, shouldn't be too hard). Obviously there is no saving anything on the top floor. Those broken windows concern me on the upper floor of the Lowe building, don't know if pigeons have made their way in. If so, hope they haven't found their way to the Thompson building. Don't know how a problem like that could be handled. "Rifle practice" in the city is not the best idea. If I were to purchase it, I might seal the roof with some sheet metal, something to keep it from leaking more into the commercial space temporarily. The commercial space could be repaired, and rented for income. The upper levels would just remain sealed-off for the time being.

The link you gave me only takes me to the home page. If the below link works, it is to the search of "Braslawsce" that shows the brothers own several properties in the area. Most of which are on the second page. I know they at least own the men's pants shop at 520 Market Street. I looked up the two parcel ID's you gave me in your last post. You are saying that 522 Sixth and Market is the corner building? The long side of it faces Sixth street, while the front and the Lowe building face Market street to clarify. I hope they have been paying the taxes! If not, I hope they have quit recently. In that case, I can buy it for back taxes and save some money, maybe.
http://www.columbianacntyauditor.org...ner=BRASLAWSCE
I think I did find the pages when I searched the parcel ID's. It appears that the listing for 522 E. Sixth & Market street is a little different that that of just 522 Market Street. Check them again, the sketches look a little different to me. I think some of the values are different too. Looks like they show it with two store fronts on the land page. Perhaps one is includes the Liberty Tax area and the small middle storefront combined as it used to be, and the other is for the storefront on the far left, in the back of the building. Assuming the below numbers are right (and in acres), that converts a total of 2570 sq. feet in just the Thompson building storefront areas alone! Assuming they are not counting the basement or small fourth floor attic areas, the Thompson building is approx. 7710 sq. feet. The listing on the realty site said the property was 11,211 sq. feet, so it must have been both buildings combined. Doing up all the math, the Lowe building is about 3500 sq. feet, divided by four... If I am correct, each floor of the Lowe building is 875 sq. feet, including the storefront area. That is, assuming each floor of the Lowe building is equal. Well, the Lowe building is 1089 sq. feet according to the auditors website. Either my math is off, or the floors aren't equal. Or, the upper fourth floor is too recent of an add on to be counted? I'm not sure. 3500 divided by 3 is 1166 sq. feet per floor. Hope I haven't lost you here.

Parcel ID Address Index Order Card(s) 3709153000 522 SIXTH & MARKET Parcel ID 1 Land Type Acres Sq. Ft. Frontage Depth Value


F9 Front Lot 0.011 0 20 23 $2,110

F9 Front Lot 0.048 0 28 74 $6,470

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Old 02-12-2013, 10:42 PM   #63
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Re: old buildings


Here's another idea. While the building is being gutted, the upper floor of the Lowe building, which I am sure is entirely trashed, can be gutted to the bare brick. Based on the photo where the third floor had the rainbarrel in it, I am willing to bet most of the studs/rafters in the third floor ceiling are entirely rotted as well. The offending rafters can be replaced, and one could then lay down 3/4 inch plywood or so, install flashing into the original red brick that is showing, and build an entire roof at the floor level of the fourth floor as it originally was. The entire new roof above the third level can remain closed in untill funds/time are there to remove all of the newer yellow bricks of the fourth floor.

Now you would have a roof; all you would have to do afterward would be to seal off exposed bricks up top. I think it would look neat to match the original red bricks to repair some damaged ones, and then build a decorative area onto the top front of the building (almost similar to what it originally had), incorporating the "LOWE" cement block that was added to the fourth floor. The exterior-facing walls inside of the Lowe Building can be gutted (likely need new studs from water damage), insulated, and drywalled. The second floor ceiling above the rainbarrel likely needs new studs and flooring as well, based on the "unstable" floor comment from the historical society website.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:54 PM   #64
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Re: old buildings


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Originally Posted by mt999999 View Post
Here's another idea. While the building is being gutted, the upper floor of the Lowe building, which I am sure is entirely trashed, can be gutted to the bare brick.

install flashing into the original red brick that is showing, and build an entire roof at the floor level of the fourth floor as it originally was. The entire new roof above the third level can remain closed in untill funds/time are there to remove all of the newer yellow bricks of the fourth floor.

Now you would have a roof; all you would have to do afterward would be to seal off exposed bricks up top. I think it would look neat to match the original red bricks to repair some damaged ones, and then build a decorative area onto the top front of the building (almost similar to what it originally had), incorporating the "LOWE" cement block that was added to the fourth floor.
I am sure you'd have to get approval from the buildings dept to do that, as what you describe would leave basically a freestanding facade of brick on the top floor, with the new roof being on IT'S current floor level.
Seems to me leaving the facade freestanding that way is leaving it very unstable, a wind storm could potentially push it right out onto the sidewalk and street.
The original facade wall cornice in the old photo was either wood or stamped sheet metal, wood was common for those up to about the 1870s, then they found a way to press sheet metal by machine and sodler it together in sections for those cornices.
The stamped metal cornices would be all but impossible to replicate today, a wood replica certainly can be made, and both wood as well as pressed tin decorative brackets and other ornaments in a variety of sizes and designs are available at reasonable cost.
That original design could be closely re-created without a whole lot of trouble.

The LOWE plaque is very likely carved limestone not cement, I would be extremely surprised if it was cement, they typically used limestone (or similar stone,) terracotta, pressed tin or cast iron for these elements, including those lintels over the windows.

In NYC, they used wood like this example, ca 1870



And pressed sheet metal after ca 1870 like this example



The better ones used copper


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Old 02-13-2013, 01:13 PM   #65
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Re: old buildings


I assumed the Brick Facade was the ONLY thing that was stable, and that would be installed first for structure and then wooden framed walls were installed on the inside. I didn't think it would make a difference. Regardless, I would contact the planning department first. Then, first thing In the spring, I could work on removing the bricks until I am down to the original red brick. I have a feeling that it would take awhile, that's why I though it would be best to install a roof first.

I could only imagine the price tag on having a wood cornice recreated. That must be in the thousands... that would be a project for later on down the road. I would like to somehow include that block with the words "LOWE" if I can make it fit on top of the building. Maybe it is limestone, I don't know. I just assumed it was concrete. Is that what they call the stones over the windows? Lintels? I wonder if the newer lintels over the fourth floor that match the other floors would be worth anything. Perhaps there is a similar design that is damaged somewhere and an owner is looking for new stones to match them. Funny they matched the lintels but couldn't match the brick color... or come even somewhat close to matching it.

Those wall cornices that you posted looked very nice, however they must be very expensive to replace. That wooden one desperately needed a good sanding and priming/painting. I wouldn't want to put a whole lot of money into the Lowe Building, the second and third floors couldn't hold much more than a two or three bedroom apartment each, and that is likely all I would use it for. I could deal with something much smaller and less fancy, just to top off the building. From your point of view, considering that you are an artist, what is a rough estimate for a simple wooden cornice to be created for a bulding like this? The corner Thompson building was built in 1892, and I would imagine that the Lowe buidling was built right around the same era. That old picture I added to my last post was from right around the turn of the century. I know it was taken before the great 1905 Diamond fire, but I am not sure how long before.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:42 PM   #66
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Re: old buildings


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I assumed the Brick Facade was the ONLY thing that was stable,

I could work on removing the bricks until I am down to the original red brick. I have a feeling that it would take awhile, that's why I though it would be best to install a roof first.
Brick walls that are freestanding, especially with four huge window openings in them like this top floor mostly have their weight to keep them in place, once you remove the old roof attached at the top of it you create a loss of strength at the top center over the window openings, as the back would be open to the elements, with a new roof at the floor level, there is a risk that during a wind storm that if the wind hots that from the back, it could push it right out, especially if that wall has any defects or out of plumbness.
I've watched demolition crews pull a wall down exactly like that with nothing more than a rope, here's a photo from 1977 showing just two guys pulled the whole wall in, same as the Lowe building's four windows across. This wall was solid brick, 12" deep, the Lowe building and in other cities it may be more common to use 8" of hollow clay blocks faced with one course of solid brick, in wich case it might be weaker, and certainly lighter in weight:




Quote:
I could only imagine the price tag on having a wood cornice recreated. That must be in the thousands... that would be a project for later on down the road.
It's something you could do with a table saw for the structure and purchased corbels and decorative parts, it would not be terribly expensive.


Quote:
I would like to somehow include that block with the words "LOWE" if I can make it fit on top of the building. Maybe it is limestone, I don't know. I just assumed it was concrete. Is that what they call the stones over the windows? Lintels? I wonder if the newer lintels over the fourth floor that match the other floors would be worth anything. Perhaps there is a similar design that is damaged somewhere and an owner is looking for new stones to match them. Funny they matched the lintels but couldn't match the brick color... or come even somewhat close to matching it.
Lintels is correct, it spans across the top of the window opening as a structural support for the brick above an opening. Personally I prefer the arch top windows.
There could be a very good reason why the lintels were matched and the bricks not, I can think of several- the lintels were locally available, the bricks were not, or the brickyard that had similar had a huge minimum order and these yellow bricks happened to be more readily available closer.
Maybe since they apparantly painted the facade long ago, they didn't care what color was under the paint.

Quote:
Those wall cornices that you posted looked very nice, however they must be very expensive to replace. That wooden one desperately needed a good sanding and priming/painting.
The copper one is on a designated landmark, it WOULD have to be replaced with in-kind materials if damaged. The wood one dates to the 1870s, it's typically just softwood, some species of knotty pine, but it proves that as long as the wood is under cover as that is, and kept painted, even pine will last outdoors like this for over 140 years and counting.


Quote:
I could deal with something much smaller and less fancy, just to top off the building. From your point of view, considering that you are an artist, what is a rough estimate for a simple wooden cornice to be created for a bulding like this?
Well, you are looking at maybe 25 feet across, I used on my building 1x8 or so pressure treated boards 16' long and cut them, you might be looking at a few hundred for the actual boards.
For decorative brackets, WF Norman makes them in zinc and copper, something like this would work, they have larger and smaller and different designs:



Their price list from last year shows the one on the left in zinc is $151.73, in copper it's $303.45 and assembly- soldering it together for you is $65.45.

You'd want maybe four of those, so if cutting boards and basic carpentry is something you can do, $1500-$2000 would do it for the materials.

http://wfnorman.com/about

They also carry tin ceilings, metal roofing and caps, and more.

Download or call to order our 85pg ornamental K Catalog featuring a comprehensive line of exterior sheet metal ornaments originally produced by the Miller & Doing Co. founded in Brooklyn, NY in 1892. Over 1300 catalog items are available in zinc, copper, or brass including: Balusters, Brackets, Capitals, Conductor Heads, Crestings, Crockets, Drops, Eagles, Finials, Gargoyles, Garlands, Leaves, Lion Heads, Mitres, Moldings, Panel Ornaments, Pinnacles, Roosters, Rosettes, Scrolls, Shells, Shields, Urns & Wreaths.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:01 PM   #67
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Re: old buildings


When I said I would build a roof at the interior fourth floor level, I would intend upon leaving the original, rotted fourth floor roof intact until I was ready to remove the bricks, and board up the mostly broken out windows of the fourth floor for the mean time. Come to think of it, when I re-visited the webpage of the 1968 Diamond fire, I did notice that the red, likely painted over bricks exactly matched the yellow bricks on top of the Lowe building. Both the Lowe and Thompson Buildings matched exactly. Interesting that they painted them instead of just trying to match the bricks closer. The Lowe building has been very poorly repointed, and the Thompson building, for the most part, appears to have never been repointed. I'm sure it will need it a little while down the road. The mortar is worn back, and adding some fresh mortar would liven up the exterior of the building. Is it called repointing, or tuck pointing, when you just add new mortar over top of worn-down older mortar?

That website is very interesting, I didn't know anybody still made historical brackets like that brand new. I found the informative website below, but it still seems complicated. Does the website depict how you built yours? I still can't quite grasp the concept of building a cornice like these. It might help me if you could post a picture of the cornice that you built on top of your building. From the old picture I posted a few days ago, it looks like the original building had five pairs of 2 brackets going across the top. At the prices the website qoutes, I think that only 5 would be sufficient. It looks like that company sells metal frieze panels for inbetween the brackets as well. Did you purchase your tin ceiling panels through this company as well?

http://chestofbooks.com/architecture/Building-Construction-V3/14-Cornice-Erection-On-Wood-Supports.html
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:53 PM   #68
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The mortar is worn back, and adding some fresh mortar would liven up the exterior of the building. Is it called repointing, or tuck pointing, when you just add new mortar over top of worn-down older mortar?

That website is very interesting, I didn't know anybody still made historical brackets like that brand new. I found the informative website below, but it still seems complicated. Does the website depict how you built yours? I still can't quite grasp the concept of building a cornice like these. It might help me if you could post a picture of the cornice that you built on top of your building. From the old picture I posted a few days ago, it looks like the original building had five pairs of 2 brackets going across the top. At the prices the website qoutes, I think that only 5 would be sufficient. It looks like that company sells metal frieze panels for inbetween the brackets as well. Did you purchase your tin ceiling panels through this company as well?

The illustration is typical of how they were installed, with the brick parapet wall extending above the roof line, and a cantilever system with sloped anchorage attahced to the roof deck.. Unlike this illustration tho:




All of those I have seen the sheet metal is not against brick, but is open to the cavity shown, it might be just the illustration does not show this, but accessing that cavity you can see the back of the sheet metal, in this illustration there would be wood structure at the ends and where the center bracket is there would be a verticle stud.

The back of my building's parapet is not very tall;




I removed the redwood siding that was installed around 1973, it was cantlevered over the top by hanging 2x4s from the 2x6s, it was not naield into the bricks;









Removing that siding left a projecting overhang to which the mambrane roof is not only attached to but overlaps the front edge an inch or so and was attached there with a strip of aluminum.
I decided to box it in like a small cornice as the best way to deal with it and not disturb the roof at all;




The red circle shows the 2x4 I attached flat to the capstone with tapcon anchors, next I took 8" long deck screws and screwed them up thru the 2x4 into the projecting horizontal 2x6s to anchor them to the 2x4 to anchor that down against wind uplift.
There already was a 2x4 attached across the upper ends of the 2x6s where the top flashing aluminum strip was screwed into, so screwing another 2x4 along the face below that into the ends of the 2x6s made a flat base about 1-1/2" thick and 8" deep to screw the treated 1x10 ripped on a table saw to 8" to those.
Then I screwed a 1x8 treated board to the underside, screwed to that anchored 2x4 on the capstone's face, and screwed to the underside of the lower 2x4 on the face.
I left a 1/2" over hang from the bottom of the face board to the underside board.
All screw heads were caulked over, all joints caulked, it was primed and painted.







I didn't have the depth of overhang I wish I had, 6" more would have been great, but would have required a lot.
I had to get the scaffold back, but I have plans to install probbaly 4 of those sheet metal brackets under this.
My tin ceiling came from Mboss
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:03 AM   #69
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Re: old buildings


If you would like, you could post some interior pictures of the work you have done on the inside of your building, I'd like to see it. I understood alot from the shots of your building. At first, I was very confused. After reading it over about a half dozen times (and then again when I woke up this morning), I'm pretty sure I understand it. What I don't understand is when you said that there is normally a cavity beneath the sheet metal (frieze) between the brick and the metal. Were you referring to the cavity behind the brick wall in the picture, or did you mean that there should be a wood overhang that the metal is attached/nailed to?

Would it be acceptable to nail small (1/2 or 1 in) wooden furring strips to the brick, then perhaps plywood over them, to attach the brackets and frieze/metal to? There would then be a small cavity between the brick and the metal, and I'd imagine it would be more secure having it nailed to the bricks than to just attach an overhang or attach it directly to the brick. It could be capped off at the bottom up against the brick with a metal "crown molding" type piece as shown at the bottom of the illustration I posted again below. To keep from damaging original brick, and to allow more room for brackets, some of the yellow bricks of the fourth floor could be saved in place to nail the furring strips to, and cover it with sheet metal. After it was all said and done, only the original red brick would be showing below the the end of all the sheet metal. The first picture below shows where the yellow brick could be torn down to. Everything below the windows down to the start of the red brick would be covered up by the sheet metal cornice.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:15 PM   #70
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What I don't understand is when you said that there is normally a cavity beneath the sheet metal (frieze) between the brick and the metal. Were you referring to the cavity behind the brick wall in the picture, or did you mean that there should be a wood overhang that the metal is attached/nailed to?
That illustration does not clearly show it, but normally in all the building's Ive dealt with in New York City anyhow, those sheet metal or wood cornices are quite large, simply because almost all of them are on 5 and 6 story or higher buildings, so the SCALE of the elements has to be increased up there. Once the brick facade is up to roof level and there's a short parapet wall above the roof line to keep people from falling off, they typically did not extend the brickwork all the way up in front in the area which would be behind the sheet metal cornice, they didn't usually attach the cornice to the bricks the way the illustration implies.
The brickwork would normally only be about the height of the rest of it around the perimeter, about 2 feet above the roof, capped with stone or more commonly a fired dark brown colored, glazed terracotta cap made in sections. The cap sheds the water off the top of the wall, here's such a wall but the style of the caps is Tudor, not the normal stock design 99% of the buildings used:



Below is the front of a building in 1977 which fairly well shows the scale and elaborate design of a sheet metal cornice, circa 1895. You can see where the keystones were removed and can see sky thru the hole in one spot. The brick wall didnt go any or much higher than what you see, the sheet metal bottom of the cornice actually rested on the top of the brick, there may have been a board nailed into the top of the brick wall for the sheet metal to nail to.
It doesnt HURT to have more brick in there, if you tore the floor down, you can leave the wall 2 or 3 feet above the roofline, they just didn't normally go that high and fill all that in when these buildings were built because bricks and labor cost money, the fewer unnecessary bricks that are mortared in the more profit the builder made, but since that's not a consideration in your case tearing down, you can leave as many bricks intact as will fit inside the cornice you make.
I would say not more than 3 feet above the roof line since that's likely to be as deep as any cornice would be for this size building anyway. You could actually stop tearing down right at the window sill level it looks like, the window sills would then be a sort of capstone, but they might have to be removed anyway since they project out a bit they may not be very stable with the wall above removed.











Reverse view of the back, you can see a little bit of daylight thru that same hole, and if you look close you might see the bricks a little- stop just below the actual bottom of the sheet metal, maybe 3 feet above the actual roof deck. The hole in the brick where the keystone was removed can be seen and compared to the front view.
The sloping angled back area on this was quite a bit taller and longer than shown in your illustration, it was about 8 feet high from the roof deck to the top of the cornice, mainly because the cornice was so elaborate and had an extra center section in the design.

The parapet wall on the sides you can see was bulked up in height on the right for a few feet back from the front, the same was done on the left which in this view was chopped away- that's the "ballast" so to speak that helps anchor and secure the whole assembly as well as tie in more with the facade bricks.

Climbing inside that cavity you could touch the back of the sheet metal on it's upper half, they used flat, bent and shaped wrought iron straps and brackets, and wood for a superstructure inside to attach the sheet metal to and support it.
Think of the actual roof of the cornice as being like a floor, but with fewer joists- spaced maybe 24" apart and maybe only 2x4 or 2x6 lumber.
Those in turn were attached to various verticle and angled boards to anchor them and give the back area that angled slope that attaches to the actual roof deck.
The cornice would usually just hang off those on the top like my redwood siding did on my building in the pictures, and the bottom of the cornice would be anchored to the top of the brick wall along the facade, and anchored at the ends well too, the ends of the cavity space were filled with the brick wall to close that space up.


They used wrought iron flats a lot in place of of some of the 2x4s in there, they bent and shaped flats about 1/4 to 5/16" thick, maybe 1-1/4" wide so they could embed one end of those into the wall, or nail an end of them to a support joist, and they bent and shaped those, and added additional pieces on using hot rivets, and the face of the sheet metal cornice's BACK would rest against those iron brackets and attach to them.
They used this more on the very large cornices where they wanted to allow for movement and wind, the iron "gives" a little like a spring and the large cornice is acting like a sail in the wind, so rather than trying to make all the sheet metal totally rigid, it allowed a little give to flex and move.

That copper cornice in another photo is so massive you can stand up inside, I did that back in the early 80s when I went inside. I made a sketch in fact;



The iron brackets can be seen, but these were substantially larger than the 1/4" thick stuff, the drawing also eliminates most of the brackets for clarity, in the drawing they appear to be about 5 feet apart, but in reality they were closer to about 18" apart.
This view would be standing inside the cornice, you can see a row of oval dark holes extending from the lower left corner, those are actually terracotta blocks- the top of a terracotta molding under the cornice, the holes are handholes in the blocks.
In this case they DID extend the brick wall up to the roof of the cornice due to the fact it was required to anchor the iron brackets too, and due to the sheer size, overhang being about 6 feet, weight and wind loading. In this case the brick wall was needed for anchorage and "ballast" to counteract the extreme overhang.
Not easy to see due to an optical illusion, but in the right lower corner is a little scroll design, that is actually the INSIDE of a bracket, the scroll is the inside of the scroll design on the bracket. further away from that a square is one of those raised panels like you see in your illustration.
The roof has a wood grain in the sketch as they laid boards over the iron brackets, the copper cornice did not extend much over the top but was attached to those boards.



Quote:
Would it be acceptable to nail small (1/2 or 1 in) wooden furring strips to the brick, then perhaps plywood over them, to attach the brackets and frieze/metal to?
I am not a fan of NAILING things to a brick wall, nails tend to come loose, pounding them in tends to loosen the mortar, you can get away with it on a NEW wall, but you don't want to disturb the bricks on an old building like this by pounding on it, the mortar in these old buildings is usually little stronger than sugar cubes, you can actually pull bricks right out of the wall with a screw driver and once you pull one out the rest are much easier to get out.
I prefer tapcon anchors, you drill the hole and screw the anchor in with a drill.
When I add the zinc brackets to my building, that is a good method, but for those I will need 2 treated boards for the zinc to nail to along the sides and top edges, so it will take a board say an inch thick or so, the width and length of the INSIDE of the bracket in it's back, and another board for the inside top. The one board would be tapconned to the brick wall in to the mortar joints, 4 screws would do it, and the other board gets screwed to the underside of the cornice with regular deck screws, and then the bracket slips on over the board in the back and over the board on top, and gets small nails driven thru the sheet metal into the side edges, front and bottom edges of the boards, and it's secure. A little caulk is good even though it's protected under the cornice overhang- it will help keep insects like bees from building nests inside etc.

The maker of the sheet metal designs would have instructions for mounting their products, they might even have different or alternate mounting provisions built-in that differ from the old methods.

Quote:
To keep from damaging original brick, and to allow more room for brackets, some of the yellow bricks of the fourth floor could be saved in place to nail
You make sure to measure properly so the tapcons don't go INTO bricks, but into the mortar between them. Those bricks are likely to be extremely hard, the facade bricks typically always are much higher quality, much harder bricks than used anywhere else in the building. You don't want to be drilling holes in those bricks, trust me on that

Another sloped back, back of the cornice rooftop view looking towards the front of a building, circa 1975, this height was more typical, maybe 3 feet above the roof line;


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Old 02-16-2013, 09:18 AM   #71
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Re: old buildings


I do like the capstone on that first picture. Now tell me, is that a brick roof, or am I just blind? Almost looks like bricks on the roof, but that just doesn't seem right. That building where the keystone was missing was a real shame. Looked trashed and forgotten... I hope they were restoring it. That sketch you drew, was that the inside of the cornice of that building you posted a few days ago with the copper cornice? I think you said it was a historical landmark. Was that a rubber membrane roof on the last photo? Man, you have some interesting pictures in your archives. Bet you have alot more, I'd love to be able to look through those! Did you work as a construction worker, or repair old buildings in NYC?

Below, I attached two pictures of the Lowe Building. You can see where I circled showing the original brick line in comparison to that stone on the corner of the Thompson building, and then again on the old turn-of-the-century photograph where the original cornice was still attached. Assuming they didn't remove any of the old original red brick when they built on the fourth floor, and only the original capstone was removed, the brick line on this building here stopped right below the cornice as well when it was built.

When I said I'd save some of the yellow bricks to nail into, I didn't mean into the bricks, I meant the mortar inbetween... I just mis-worded that. Would it be OK to just 'tapcon' wooden furring strips into the mortar joints to anchor the sheet metal/brackets to? Honestly though, I've never heard of tapcon anchors. Look at the link below, are these them, or do I have the wrong product?
http://www.concretefasteners.com/anchors-fasteners/tapcon-screw/pricing.aspx?gclid=COy2rZKKu7UCFUid4AodvRYAmw
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:28 AM   #72
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I do like the capstone on that first picture. Now tell me, is that a brick roof, or am I just blind? Almost looks like bricks on the roof, but that just doesn't seem right.
Those are clay tiles on the roof, it wasn't done often, but in high rise apartments like that building there is usually a penthouse on the very top floor or the roof itself, and tenants also usually had access to the roof, so a tiled roof was used to create a "floor" for people to walk on rather than tarpaper.
Google Tudor City, NYC





Quote:
That building where the keystone was missing was a real shame. Looked trashed and forgotten... I hope they were restoring it.
That building and the entire block was under demolition at the time around 1977, those keystones were removed by me, I was 17 at the time back then.

Quote:
That sketch you drew, was that the inside of the cornice of that building you posted a few days ago with the copper cornice? I think you said it was a historical landmark. Was that a rubber membrane roof on the last photo?
Yes that is the one, it is on the NW corner of Broadway and W. Houston st in NYC if you care to google map/street view/google earth it.
The last roof photo was not a rubber roof, just regular tarpaper, and that roof was directly across the street from the building I removed the keystones from.

Another view of that block, that roof was on the building in the center:




Quote:
Man, you have some interesting pictures in your archives. Bet you have alot more, I'd love to be able to look through those! Did you work as a construction worker, or repair old buildings in NYC?
Oh yes I have pretty extensive archives, about 200 photos wound up in my book. No, when I was 13, I started collecting artifacts from buildings being torn down, and by the time I was 19 I had 50 tons worth stored in several lofts around the city and working a full time job and 4 part time jobs to pay all the rents.

Quote:
Below, I attached two pictures of the Lowe Building. You can see where I circled showing the original brick line in comparison to that stone on the corner of the Thompson building, and then again on the old turn-of-the-century photograph where the original cornice was still attached. Assuming they didn't remove any of the old original red brick when they built on the fourth floor, and only the original capstone was removed, the brick line on this building here stopped right below the cornice as well when it was built.
Actually, if you look closer, you'll notice the actual cornice is not as high as you think, the very top of the brick wall appears they finished with a diamond pattern row across, and the actual cornice starts just about at the top of your red circle. Scale wise it looks to have been no more than 2 feet high, with the diamond pattern below it about a foot high. The diamond pattern section could be called part of the cornice design, it's just that part of the cornice was executed in brick and the rest in sheet metal.
The cornice as a design by the way, is very old and goes back to the classical period with the Greeks and Romans. They used the column as the base design with it's 3 elements: the base, shaft and capital, and almost all of these old buildings built before 1900 have that concept, especially tall ones. You'll see usually an elaborate ground floor design, sometimes obscured by store signs or alterations for stores and new display windows, then the shaft represented by a relatively plain 2nd floor up, capped by an elaborate top floor representing the capital, with the cornice at the top representing the abacus found on the Corinthian capital which does the actual supporting.

Quote:
Would it be OK to just 'tapcon' wooden furring strips into the mortar joints to anchor the sheet metal/brackets to? Honestly though, I've never heard of tapcon anchors. Look at the link below, are these them, or do I have the wrong product?
You would use something more substantial than furring strips, but yes, that is the idea- anchoring the lumber, and those are the correct screws on that link. Tapcon brand is the "standard" for these screws. They also sell a handy driver you chuck into a drill that drives the screws in and then automatically disengages from the screws head when it's seated properly.
I would get that because using a socket wrench or flat head screw is a real pain!
The caution in using these is make SURE you drill not only the correct sized hole, but that the holes are deeper than the length of the screw.

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Old 02-18-2013, 09:47 AM   #73
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Re: old buildings


That old photo was a little fuzzy, and initially, I assumed it was all decorative brick. After talking to you, I thought it was all likely a sheet metal cornice. I never paid close enough attention to see the diamond shaped bricks I guess... shame they tore them off. Well, I can't remake those, so I would likely just install a cornice, leaving the yellow brick from the windows down for extra area to mount to. I wish I had more photos from the building. I'd like to know when the large metal dome cap was taken off the Thompson building turret (see the old picture), and I'd like to know when they added the fourth floor onto the Lowe building. Everyone I talked to doesn't seem to remember, so it must have been awhile ago. Is there a place I can go to research this? Maybe the county courthouse?

That tile roof was interesting, I really like the greenhouse on the roof. Do they just double up the supports underneath the roof to allow for all of this weight? Makes me wonder how they waterproof clay tiles. I've read into the colum with the three elements before. Pretty sure it relates right into the golden triangle of architecture. When you told me you had a whole lot of stuff to transfer down the freight elevator, I was wondering all you could have possible owned... I suppose I know now. What did you do with all that stuff when you moved to Iowa? Storage units?
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:53 PM   #74
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I never paid close enough attention to see the diamond shaped bricks I guess... shame they tore them off. Well, I can't remake those,
They appear to be just different colored bricks set into a repeating pattern, looks like this is what they had there but a single row of white bricks;





Quote:
I'd like to know when the large metal dome cap was taken off the Thompson building turret (see the old picture), and I'd like to know when they added the fourth floor onto the Lowe building. Everyone I talked to doesn't seem to remember, so it must have been awhile ago. Is there a place I can go to research this? Maybe the county courthouse?
Chances are the dome was damaged by a wind storm, if so, big longshot- you might find an old newspaper article about a big wind or hail storm that damaged a number of buildings, it it might mention something like "the Thompson building was also damaged".
If not, then the 1970s was a time when a LOT of this stuff was removed or covered over in the misguided quest to make old buildings look more modern and sleek. That was when stupid things like installing ugly, cheap looking redwood siding over a brick facade like my building was done.
Here the local paper turned over all of their archives going back the 1800s to the local museum housed in an old primary school, who put all the material on microfilm.
Your town may have a similar newspaper who has archives or gave them to a third party, but searching for such a small detail involves a lot of work and time, only you can decide if learning the relatively unimportant detail is worth your time, especially since the chance of failure to find anything about that is probably 95%.

Your buildings dept etc are certainly to only have records pertaining to the property ownership and transfers, but they will also have building permits that might have enough details to learn what work was done when, but that is a relatively new thing because back in the old days people just build their buildings and homes, most with little paperwork to them, and many alterations and repairs done over the years in the 20s, 30s 40s etc were just done also with little to no paperwork.
The exceptions would be in the big city like New York City where they recorded almost everything, including alterations, even simple additions of a slop sink in the basement etc.

If you do buy the building, or not, the abstracts are usually public records you can see at the buildings dept.
Mine are quite interesting, and you'll find entries like these:




http://imgur.com/yloSAmE

http://imgur.com/mtyHVcl

The second one is page two from 1855 showing the first entry, whith the US Govt granting the land, and the second entry of Peter Smith shows that Smith (who was the founder of the town) transferred the land to the town.
At that point there was nothing there but bare land or maybe a wood shack type building. It wasn't untill 1910 there was an entry for a $20,000 mortgage and I take that as the evidence of when the building was built on the land.



Quote:
That tile roof was interesting, I really like the greenhouse on the roof. Do they just double up the supports underneath the roof to allow for all of this weight? Makes me wonder how they waterproof clay tiles.
I'm not sure how it was done, but that building would have used concrete slab floors since the complex was built in the mid 1920s, the red tile was originally part of the roof deck, though over the decades I'm sure it's been replaced at least once. As long as the mortar is kept in good condition and drainage is good, and any cracks that appear attended to promptly, the system should not leak.
The tiles are vitrified, so they are essentially waterproof, it's the mortar joints and where the tiles meet chimney's pipes and vents, builkheads and the walls that there can be leaks.

Quote:
When you told me you had a whole lot of stuff to transfer down the freight elevator, I was wondering all you could have possible owned... I suppose I know now. What did you do with all that stuff when you moved to Iowa? Storage units?
I sold half of it before I moved, and I've moved to two other states since then and sold off pretty much the rest, but started a new second collection 15 years ago.

This was a view of one of my lofts, in fact on the 7th floor of that building with the copper cornice posted earlier;





Musician David Peel even came by on occasion;



And then in Brooklyn a couple of views;




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Old 02-21-2013, 08:16 PM   #75
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Re: old buildings


Well, I wouldn't want to go through the trouble of removing all the yellow bricks, then adding more onto it. It isn't worth all the work to go and find out about the turret dome cap, but it still makes me wonder. It's a shame that it's missing, it topped off the building. I don't even know how I would go about having one of those remade. It was probably all made of sheet metal, and I bet it would be expensive for a replacement. But, then again, I was wrong on the sheet metal cornice, so who knows. It might have even been made of copper. I'll have to ask around town more.

Those papers were interesting, I'll have to look into finding some on this building. I know the original owner was John C. Thompson, and that is the Thompson family block, but I don't know anything about the man, or the following owners. I heard the last person living on the third floor was a little old lady who passed away in the 1950's. Makes me wonder how buildings are just let go like this one.

Man, you needed a warehouse for all of that! It looked amazing though, I'd have loved to have been through those lofts. I had vaguely heard of David Peel once... he was a street performer, wasn't he? Did you know him personally? I looked up a few of his songs on youtube... interesting stuff I suppose

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