Hands-on historic masonry workshop 10/18/11

  • Are you a person who learns better by doing things rather than reading an article or listening to a lecture?
  • Would you like to pick up tips on historic preservation from experts in the field?
  • Can you tell which cracks in a masonry wall are a warning of disaster and which ones are unimportant?
  • Can you look at a damaged historic wall and understand why it cracked?
  • Do you know which maintenance chores will extend the life of your masonry walls?

Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute is holding an all-day hands-on class in masonry restoration at the Assembly of God Church in Platteville, CO on Tuesday, October 18, 2011.  This small brick building has suffered from decades of delayed maintenance because the congregation could not afford repairs.  We are hoping to complete the repointing work needed on the alley façade of this church in one day.  This will not be an online, snooze-through-it class.  This will be an chance to get your hands dirty and ask the experts questions.  You will also have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping a congregation save their sanctuary.  The lessons you learn in this class can be applied to any older masonry building…your home, your church or your school.


The day will start out with a 90-minute seminar on “Diagnosing Masonry Failure”.  After the lecture, we will break up into smaller groups and head outside.  The small groups will allow each person will get a chance to handle the equipment and try different restoration techniques.  Students will get a chance to learn from all five learning stations.


  • John Voelker of Cornerstone Restoration will show you how to tell whether or not a mortar joints needs to be replaced.  He will teach you how to remove the old mortar from the joint and prepare the joint for new mortar.  Finally he will show you how to repoint and tool the joint.
  • Chris Watson from Helifix will show you how to install stainless steel ties to stabilize an old brick wall that is delaminating.
  • Gary Keshner of Cathedral Stone will show you how to stabilize the gap behind the delaminating veneer with cementitious grout fill.  He will also show you how to repair damaged stone.
  • Shan Wo of Atkinson-Noland will show you how to use some of the many non-destructive testing tools her office uses to evaluate old buildings.
  • Diane Travis of RMMI will walk around this old church, teaching you how to spot clues to deterioration and discussing potential repairs.


Lunch will be provided by the parishioners of the Platteville Assembly of God Church.


After lunch, everybody will spend a few hours repointing the wall under the watchful supervision of master masons.  Practice makes perfect.


When:                  October 18, 2011 8:00 am to 3:30 pm

Where:                 Assembly of God Church, 617 Main Street, Platteville, CO 80651

Cost:                      $100 for architects, engineers and homeowners

Priceless:             Finally really understanding historic preservation of masonry buildings.

AIA Credit:          This class is worth 6.0 (self-reported) learning units of credit.  We will give you a certificate of completion to prove you completed the class.

Register:              By replying to this e-mail or by calling RMMI at 303-893-3838

Class size:            Limited to 50 attendees


Diane Travis, LEED AP

Technical Director

Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute

686 Mariposa Street, Denver, CO 80204

Phone:     303-893-3838

Fax:           303-893-3839

E-mail:      dianet@rmmi.org

Web:         www.rmmi.org

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