Sunday, April 1, 2012

Masonry Preservation at Tolomato Cemetery


We had a great preservation work day at Tolomato this weekend (March 31).  Matt Armstrong had gotten a number of people from his Flagler College contacts and Sarah Miller of FPAN put the information out on her list. Of course, the TCPA had also notified members and people who had signed up to receive notifications.

We had a lovely cool morning and all the tools and D2 (a cleaning solution) we needed. BTW, many thanks to the great people at Cathedral Stone Products, which expedited our last-minute order.

Life was good and it got even better when John Beaty arrived from Gainesville. John is a specialist in historic masonry, currently completing his doctorate in the subject, and is also a really great person for working with volunteers.  That means: honest, dedicated, organized, clear and not condescending. 


Our original objective was to clean markers and we did. But that will be another post.

However, the really interesting thing was that we got to repoint the bricks in the Andreu vault, which is beginning to show some ominous signs of collapse.   Below is John inspecting the vault.  Notice the exposed brick and non-existent mortar at the lower right.


And here we are, diligently digging out the debris, removing the plant material, vacuuming and cleaning…and filling in all those ugly cracks. 


The mortar is historically accurate. It is hydrated lime from Virginia Limeworks, combined with native sand and some purchased earth colorings.


Everybody worked like mad.  Here we see John pointing out some details to Percy de la Cruz.


And then suddenly the heavens opened and lightning started shooting down everywhere.

So we covered the vault with a tarp and ran for the protection of the Varela Chapel…and I’ll tell you the rest of the story later. (Spoiler:  I saw the Andreu vault this morning and when we removed the tarp - it looked great!)

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