Our house at 100 Prince Street has a sandstone foundation that has kept it standing for 191 years. It is not a museum piece, but it is mighty.
On top of the sandstone along the driveway, supporting the sill, is a layer of bricks; I’d always assumed, for no other reason than ignorance, that the bricks were a later addition, but learned this week that they’re original equipment.
I know this by way of work on the bricks that we’re having done this week by Jake the mason and his crew. The need for the work was brought on by a driveway reconstruction project spearheaded by our indefatigable neighbour Angus. Removing the driveway asphalt revealed more clearly issues with the brick that were seen evidence of for some years, and if there was ever a time to do something, it is now.
The bricks, Jake tells us with his experienced eye, have been there from the beginning of the house in 1827. The work he’s doing for us this week will allow them to continue to be there for another generation; it’s not a total system reboot, but rather a careful and deliberate surgery. It is a joy to watch.
Such a joy, at it happens, that yesterday, looking at brickwork and not where I was going, I twisted my ankle on the driveway. It’s been sore ever since, but seems to be slowly on the mend (rest, ice, compress, elevate).
With luck, me and the foundation should be fully supportive by early next week.