Masonry Solutions

Diamond Bar

News and Insights on the Masonry Repair and Maintenance of Institutional, Commercial, and Condominium Buildings in Eastern Massachusetts   

Vol.8 No. 4

      June 2016      

In this issue, our Case Study article describes Abbot's restoration of the facades of two adjacent brick and pre-cast concrete buildings used for subsidized housing in Boston's Dorchester section. In our Masonry 101 article, we explain what "quoins" are. 
We trust that you will benefit from the information provided in this publication. If you have any comments or questions, or would like an estimate on a masonry repair project, we can be reached at

617-445-0274 or at www.abbotbuilding.com.  




Michael Norman, President
Abbot Building Restoration Company, Inc.


Case Study 

Abbot Restores Facades of Two Adjacent Buildings in Boston's Dorchester Section  

bbot recently restored the facades of two adjacent brick and pre-cast concrete buildings used for subsidized housing at 414-418 and 422 Columbia Road in Boston's Dorchester section.
414-418 Columbia Road
Back in early 2015, the building owner hired architectural engineering firm Building Envelope Technologies, Inc. (Easton. MA) to evaluate the facades of both buildings to determine the extent of deterioration that had taken place over time. Based on the firm's findings, the owner decided to be pro-active and make the necessary repairs to maintain and improve the condition of the masonry.

422 Columbia Road 
Following an extensive bidding process, Abbot was awarded the masonry repair contract due to its experience, reputation, and competitive bid.
Abbot performed the following repairs on the front elevations of both buildings:


  • Chemically cleaned all of the brick to remove atmospheric dirt.
  • Cut and repointed all of the brick and replaced the deteriorated pre-cast concrete headers, sills, bands, keys, and quoins between the brick headers.
  • Removed any deteriorated steel above the windows, installed new galvanized steel where appropriate, and then re-installed the existing brick that could be salvaged and installed new brick to match the original color.
  • Replaced deteriorated pre-cast concrete, to match existing shapes and sizes where necessary, including the building foundation.
To complete the repair, Abbot applied a pigmented elastomeric coating that matched the original color to protect the pre-cast concrete.
Additionally, at 422 Columbia Road, the pre-cast concrete at bottom of building was severely deteriorated. Instead of patching the deterioration as had been done in past but constantly failed, it was decided to remove and replace approximately 25% of the 3' x 4' stone blocks to provide a more permanent solution.

In its rich history as a successful masonry contractor, Abbot has come "full circle" on many occasions to work on the same buildings years later either for the same owner or new owners. In this case, Abbot repaired the top of the building at 422 Columbia Road in October 2004 for the same owner. That repair involved the following steps: 
  • Removal of all of the masonry above the top floor window including the two precast bands -- one flat and one with dentals -- and all the associated brick.
  • Replacement of the steel lintels with new galvanized steel.
  • Installation of new self-adhesive, rubberized asphalt/polyethylene flashing.
  • Fabrication of new precast concrete bands to match the original bands.
  • Replacement of the bricks using a combination of original brick and new brick to match the original color.

Masonry 101

What are "Quoins?" 
In the article above on the buildings at Columbia Road, we mention that Abbot cut and repointed all of the brick and replaced the deteriorated quoins between the brick headers. So just what are "quoins" anyway?
The quoins are the light gray blocks in this illustration 
Strictly speaking, a quoin is a solid exterior angle at the outside corner of a building. However, in masonry construction, the term is most often used to describe a stone that reinforces a corner of a brick or stone building (e.g., "cornerstone").
The term "quoin" was originally an alternative way to spell "coin", and was used to mean "cornerstone" or "wedge".
Some quoins are ornamental, providing a decorative look to the corner of a building where two exterior walls meet. Others are structural, strengthening a building by reinforcing the corners.
abbot logo

Abbot Building Restoration Company, Inc.


28 Allerton Street, Boston, MA 02119
Tel: 617-445-0274  Fax: 617-445-0277



Featured Articles  


Case Study 

Abbot recently restored the facades of two adjacent brick and pre-cast concrete buildings in Boston's Dorchester section.   


See full article below 


Masonry 101

What are "quoins"? 


 See full article below


Abbot recently extended its range of masonry repair services to include the restoration of brick Victorian homes

To Find Out More Visit