In 2015 Case Western Reserve University and the College of Arts and Sciences decided to begin a historic restoration of Clark Hall. This Queen Anne style building on the CWRU campus was designed by Richard Morris Hunt in 1892 as the Mather College. It currently contains classrooms, a library, and administrative offices. Its original brick exterior was connected to an inner masonry wall with iron ties. These ties have rusted over time, and without their support the original brick skin began to “slump.” For years, netting has covered Clark Hall, along with temporary metal ties put in place to prevent structural failure and preserve the safety of passersby until the exterior brick façade could be replaced.
Extreme precision is required to accurately restore the building. The vertical coursing restraints are significant and are further exacerbated by the extremely thin mortar bed joints. This makes matching up the brickwork with the surrounding original stonework and woodwork a challenge. Tying the exterior hollow core face brick to the common brick back-up required the use of custom made stainless steel anchors and a construction strength grout mix. Custom brick shapes were also required to match the original window jams and chimney shapes. However, more than 25% of the original brick work was integrated into the new brickwork.