Not long ago Hascall & Hall completed masonry repair work on one of the most historic buildings in the City of Portland, Maine.
The History of The Loring House
A low-cost senior housing complex on Brighton Avenue, it was first built in the early 1800s as an Alms House for the city’s poor, elderly, and mentally disabled. The complex included a cluster of buildings linked together by connecting wings, and was situated on 100 acres of donated land, which was used for farming by its tenants.
By 1870 it had been converted into what was known as Greely Hospital. In 1902-1904 two more buildings were added: Farrington Hospital, which provided medical, surgical, and pediatric services; and Boothby Home, which revived the practice of housing the city’s vulnerable and disenfranchised citizens. However, by the end of World War II, when the buildings were so over-crowded and housing for the poor once again fell out of favor, they were merged into one and became known as Portland City Hospital.
In the early 1980s the part of the complex known as Loring House (named after Harold Greely Loring, a former city council member and the first mayor of Portland, who was also a brick-layer), was renovated into apartments for the elderly and disabled. On March 21, 1985, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a building that “is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of American history.”
200 Years of Wear and Tear
With the Loring House being a historic building in Portland, Maine and the excellent quality of work Hascall & Hall provides, we knew it was a perfect fit. Keeping Portland’s history present and noticeable is our goal and after some 200-odd years of existence, the building developed wear and tear that needed to be addressed. Hascall & Hall was called in to repair and renew some of the masonry work, as well as build openings for new louvres. Although the restoration work was a challenge; an added pressure was always lurking overhead because of the historical value that the building brings to Portland. These historical values add precise instructions to a job with little to no room for error making the job extremely diligent. But with the high-quality work that Hascall & Hall performs, this historic building will continue to bind stories and people together for years to come.
How We Repaired the Masonry
To begin this job, we needed to remove all paint, stain and plant growth from the masonry that was noticeably different in order to blend with existing masonry. Next, was the mortar removal process, which included grinding out joints in between the masonry and repointing those areas with new mortar in order to give it a nice clean look. But before repointing all the ground out areas, we needed to replace all damaged masonry with new and create a “sample wall”; this is key for the historic building because this is where they choose the exact mortar color so the repair blends almost, if not, perfectly with the existing masonry units.
After the units were ground out, replaced as needed and the new mortar color was chosen, our experts then repointed as needed and sealed any joints requiring attention to make sure this wall can withstand all of Maine’s harsh weather. Once necessary masonry was replaced, repointing was complete, and repairs were fully cured we then thoroughly cleaned the building making sure all residue was removed. Lastly, once all repairs were complete and a thorough cleaning was done, we then inspected the building one last time to make sure the quality of work met Hascall & Hall’s standards and that we leave behind a better-looking canvas than when we arrived.
Hascall & Hall was Extremely Honored to Repair Such a Historic Building with Rich History Like The Loring House, and we would like to thank them for letting us do so. Once our job was complete, we left The Loring House with a new clean look ready to take on Maine’s harsh climate. With the high-quality work that Hascall & Hall performed, this historic building will continue to bind stories and people together for many more years to come.