Running bond

The running bond pattern is not found very often in Capitol Hill.  American bond , for example is much more prolific.  Since each wythe of brick, in this bond is built with all stretchers, there is no interconnection between brick wythes.

This wall is built in a running bond pattern, photo was taken here in Capitol Hill, DC at the exposed side facade of a rowhome.


Queen Closer

At alternating courses, in this picture, the brick on the left side next to the corner is a queen closer.

The queen closer is cut lengthwise to allow the course of brick to fit within the allotment of space. The amount by which it is cut is removed to make up space for the remaining bricks in the course.

Elliptical arches

The lower course of arched openings in this photograph are bonded elliptical arches with a keystone. The windows above this lower set of openings is a lintel header with quoin style corners. Above that are three full Roman arches.

Header failures

Header failures are not rare in the 100+ year old masonry construction in Capitol Hill.

In some cases the reason for failure is as simple as natural deterioration with age. 

If you look closely at the picture, you can see there is a vertical zig-zagging crack in the brick and brick mortar where the structural load path has a differential settlement.

If you look closely at the eyebrow or segmental arches above the windows in the picture, you can see that the bricks in the soldier position around the segmental arch have shifted over the years and are falling out of place at specific locations.

In other cases contractors who did not know about working with historic materials have used the wrong materials and it actually accelerated the degradation of parts of the building assemblies, see a separate post on spalling, click here.

What does a double Wythe brick wall look like when you cut it right down the middle

In this photo, you can see a double wythe brick wall cut right down the middle. says 


Middle English from Old English withthe(withe)

A wythe of brick is a single vertical assembly of units.  In this case, and typical with above grade exterior or even interior demising walls in Capitol Hill the wall is a double wythe.

You can see a perfect crosection of the bedding mortar and stretcher mortar between bricks.  The vertical joint between wythe is the collar joint.

In this picture you can see where a wall was dismantled and you can see a typical functional assembly of common brick. Here is well you can see this is a double wythe brick wall.  We’re in the picture above you can see

 the bedding mortar between the Shiner faces of the brick, in this picture you can see the prepend mortar, in section exposed, between the rowlock faces of the brick.

You can also see the otherwise,  normally completely hidden collar joint between the two wythes.

Brick cogging accent

What is otherwise just simple brick, are used in many ways in our Capitol Hill historic facades to provide variation and accent.  Brick set at an angle so you can see both the soldier and sailor faces or the spreader and shiner faces at the same time is called cogging.

Between a window header and a sill of windows above, it is common to see a accent section built into the exterior masonry.

Brick cogging used as an accent.