The Treasure of Terracotta: Chalk, Charcoal and Clay

The Preservation of Historic Glazed Architectural Terracotta from the medieval associations of tradesmen.

Terracotta was treasured as a design component for centuries because of its durability as a construction material and its beauteous and opulent demeanor. Weighing roughly one tenth as much as stone, terracotta can be molded and fired at high temperatures to a hardness and compactness comparable to that of  brick. As styles evolved and manufacturing costs increased, terracotta was used less often. In the late 1800’s, there were more than 100 terracotta manufacturers in the United States. Today, there are fewer than 10.The scarcity of qualified manufacturers and skilled craftspeople can present threats to the ongoing maintenance and restoration of historic terracotta.terra-cotta

An array of challenges await the restoration contractor , especially when the project calls for historical preservation. Kansas City Masonry/ The Masons Inc. has the experience, expertise and architectural knowledge to cautiously remove the existing historically important elements, record their position in the facade, rebuild the unit if distressed, and work closely with a recognized terracotta manufacturer to fabricate a replica of same dimensional size and glazing finish.

It is critically important to use a contractor who intimately understands all facets of terra cotta in a masonry aspect. Kansas City Masonry is that company.

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