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Roving Rube

Terra Cotta

July 8, 2003

De Vinne Press Building, 393399 Lafayette Street












1885-86, Babb, Cook & Willard; New York City Landmark.
Brick with terra-cotta ornament. Commercial.
(Source: "Terra-Cotta Skyline", by Susan Tunick).

Another example of our two clay materials, brick and terra cotta, partnering as well as Astaire and Rogers.

2-jpg shows the rounded terra-cotta "quoins" (raised ornamental blocks used to highlight the corners of buildings) -- note how they follow the niche set in the bricks.

This picture also shows sloppy "repointing" of the mortar between the bricks and tiles -- note the seams that look like when you use too much glue repairing something, and ended up with a big smear along the surface. The mortar between the bricks and terra cotta erodes over the years (and once the moisture gets in it damages the bricks and tiles), but skill and experience is needed to do it well.

3-jpg shows the "beltcourses" (horizontal bands wrapped around the building) which have a surface pattern like that of the quoins.

This building has just the right amount of ornament!
































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