Lanier and David Scally Return to the Clapp Pear
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
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
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
“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
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:
|Posted: August 16, 2012
Nancy J Conrad