DACO to Host Historic Masonry Program May 20< < Back to
An expert in the restoration of historic masonry, Larry Vance has been working on Lancaster’s Reese-Peters home for the past couple of weeks, carefully removing hard, modern mortar used in a previous restoration and replacing it with more compatible soft mortar.
“There are a lot of these historic gems in Lancaster,” said Vance. “There are lots of fabulous structures that need to be maintained; structures that were built to last hundreds of years. These old homes represent a certain sense of place and time; a style of living.”
Vance has been involved in historic masonry for 17 years, a second career that he took on after a number of decades spent working for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
“I was retired for two days when I realized that I had to keep doing something,” said Vance. “I decided that masonry was something that I had always had an interest in, but it was hard because the people doing masonry were 20, 30 years old. I chose to go with soft masonry instead, which is a niche market.”
Soft mortar was used prior to 1930, when, according to Vance, “everything changed.”
“Today’s mortar is completely different – everything changed when Portland cement became available,” said Vance, explainging that Portland cement is much harder than mortar that had been used up to that point in history.
The Reese Peters house is a Federal/Greek Revival home on the National register of Historic Places, and the current home of the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio. Saturday, May 20, the organization will hold a special program featuring Vance’s work on the property. Entitled “Tuckpointing in Historic Homes: Mortar and Materials.” The program kicks off at 10 a.m. and will give participants a crash-course in pre-1930s masonry. Tickets are $25 for members and $28 for non-members.
The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio is located at 145 E. Main Street in Lancaster.