Masonry All Around

Words: Bronzella ClevelandPaul Odom, MCAA Chairman We had great working weather this April in Texas. It is my favorite time of the year!! I always loved laying brick when I can start the day wearing a jacket in the morning and finish the day in a short sleeve shirt. Production seems to be really good at this time also. I hope that you are having great working weather as well. I went to New York City in early April to see Susie who has been babysitting our 4 1/2-month-old granddaughter for our son Alex and our daughter Kelsey. As a mason when I travel I am always looking at masonry buildings. NYC is an amazing place to see the beauty of masonry. There are masonry buildings around every corner that were built not only for the beauty but for sustainability and fire safety for both the  property and the occupants. For example, the Potter Building #1 at 37th Park Row, burned to the ground in 1882 with twelve people killed. The flames had engulfed the structure so quickly that the Fireman’s Herald wrote that the building “made itself notorious the country over for burning up in the shortest time on record,” and its owner was brought before a grand jury. Potter immediately set forth to rebuild. He commissioned architect Norris Garshom Starkweather, whose offices had been in the burnt-out building, to design its replacement. Within two weeks of the fire, Potter announced he would build the largest office building in New York and it would be “absolutely fireproof inside as well as outside.” The Potter Building was completed in 1886 with brick, terra cotta and iron. I am always proud to be a mason but even more so when I see beautiful masonry that is built to last. It is my wish that we can all work together to continue to promote masonry.  It is SAFE, it is sustainable, and it looks good for years. As you travel around the country or world for that matter, look at the old buildings. Masonry is what is still around!! Until next month, Paul Odom
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