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EE Square Clapp Pear Base Repointed by Original Masons


Michael Lanier and David Scally Return to the Clapp Pear

EE Square Clapp Pear Under Repair On July 28, 2012 Union bricklayers Michael Lanier and David Scally could be seen working diligently, carrying out their first steps of the mortar repairs to the base of the Clapp Pear in Edward Everett Square.  Both Michael and David were the masons who had created the cobblestone base for the pear back in 2007 prior to its formal installation and dedication on June 16, 2007.

In the ensuing five years, the mortar began to deteriorate, compromising the stability of the artwork.  So the EE Square Beautification Committee called on Bob Motullo for assistance.  He was their contact at the Bricklayers Apprenticeship  Program, 64 Mount Vernon St, Dorchester, MA when the artwork was first installed.  Although Bob has since retired, he secured the services of the same two masons to make the repairs.

Mortar naturally deteriorates over time and must be repointed.  This is especially true if the mortar is subject to water pooling as in the case of the pear, where water sheds down the surface of the pear and collects on top of the cobblestone base.


Two Full Days Work

It's good to remove as much of the loose mortar as can be reached, Michael said, but at least down to one-half to three-quarters of an inch.  For the pear's cobblestone base, they used grinding tools to remove the mortar down to three-quarters of an inch.  

Removing the old mortar took the two guys a full day and the same amount of time for the final repointing.  They used a type of mortar designed to withstand exterior conditions – heat, cold and moisture. According to Michael, the day the cobblestones were repointed, the weather looked threatening so they covered their work with plastic to protect it from moisture.  Had the day been sunny, no covering (plastic) would have been needed as the mortar begins to cure pretty quickly.

One additional step remains to return the artwork to its original pristine condition.  The carved lettering on the base which was originally painted black to make the inscription stand out needs to be repainted.  Once that is complete, the masons will be back to apply a sealer.


 Taking Pride in their Work

“Yes,” Michael commented, “we are very excited about the work we did. David and I always try to do an excellent job. Among other things, our work represents our union. We are trying to prove to people that we are better than the nonunion guys who are not as well trained as we are.”

Mike the Mason, as he likes to call himself, added that he is grateful for the excellent training he received from Local 3, the Bricklayers and Allied Craft Union and for his newfound life.   

“When I came to Boston 12 years ago, it was after a divorce and I had nothing and no money - just a bag of clothes on my back. After working hard with the union, I was able to buy a piece of land in Vermont for vacations and buy a home in Chelsea and make a good living for my family through benefits that we receive from the union.”

Thanks to Richie Forcione from Bricklayers Local 3 for identifying who the masons were from the photos provided. For more information you may contact Richie at 617-242-5500  or his email:  rflocal3@yahoo.com.

EE Square Clapp Pear Under Repair EE Square Clapp Pear Under Repair
EE Square Clapp Pear Under Repair EE Square Clapp Pear Under Repair
EE Square Clapp Pear Under Repair EE Square Clapp Pear Under Repair
EE Square Clapp Pear Under Repair EE Square Clapp Pear Under Repair
EE Square Clapp Pear Under Repair
Posted: August 16, 2012     Nancy J Conrad

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