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Historic Resources Committee

Historic_FEB_2019

Image: Sara E. Wermiel

Architectural Terra Cotta and Molded Brick: History and Applications at the Eustis Estate

For our mid-February meeting, former HRC co-leader Sara Wermiel will take us on a fascinating historical journey, beginning with the introduction of architectural terra cotta in the United States and concluding with the popular launch of the building material, ca. 1880. Establishing this medium in the context of the long history of ceramic ornament, her presentation will then then focus on a specific architectural terra cotta variation that has remained largely unrecognized: sculpted terra cotta comprised of pieces made without molds. Two unique fireplace surrounds in the Eustis Estate, a recently renovated Queen Anne-style house in Milton, Mass. (designed by William Ralph Emerson; completed 1878-1880), will be used to illustrate the sculpted terra cotta technique.

Sara E. Wermiel Ph.D. is a construction historian, historic preservation consultant and independent scholar. She is the author of a number of books, including "The Fireproof Building: Technology and Public Safety in the Nineteenth-century American City" and "Lighthouses," and technical papers.

1.5 LU AIA credits are available.