Campus & Community

Aging buildings get tucked

While the architectural styles of University Hall and the Mary Reed Building have held up well over time, the mortar which holds these brick and stone buildings together has become a bit too antiquated.

For more than a month, workers have been completing a process known as tuck-pointing, which involves chipping old mortar from between bricks and replacing it with new mortar.

The mortar that binds the stones of University Hall, which has stood on the north side of Warren Circle since 1890, has never been replaced in its entirety. The Mary Reed Building was originally constructed as a library in 1932.

“Old mortar compromises the integrity of the way the building is put together,” says Project Manager Chris Shelton.

Eroding mortar on the west side of University Hall allowed water to leak into the building, says Jeff Bemelen, facilities management director.

Several years ago workers tuck-pointed about half of the Mary Reed Building. Maintaining structural integrity through tuck-pointing will continue for the next couple of years over summers, the only time it can be done.

On July 10, workers began erecting a scaffold to tuck-point the 126-foot-high Mary Reed tower. For the time being, both buildings will undergo the process. However, as the summer wears on, time constraints may force workers to focus on Mary Reed.

“I would hope it will last for another 100 years,” Shelton says.

In time, other stone or brick buildings on campus will require the treatment, Bemelen says.

Comments are closed.