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Temple Freda Restoration Project


Bryan Commerce and Development has approved a contract for ATC Contractors out of Georgetown to begin the first phase of stabilization.



Prior to proceeding with masonry restoration, the walls will be cleaned of mold, mildew, and moss growth. All plant materials will be removed that are on the building or growing immediately adjacent to the walls. Cleaning will follow the Secretary of the Interior’s standards, not allowing for use of chemical or acidic cleaners, either before or after restoration work. Also prior to masonry restoration, existing mortar will be sampled and tested to determine materials, proportions, and strength. Both acid tests and petrography will be performed by an approved testing company, on several samples of mortar, to help determine the appropriate mortar mix for the rebuilding and repointing of the masonry walls.



The exterior clay masonry bearing walls of Temple Freda are the area most in need of attention. The masonry is suffering extensive mortar joint failure, primarily due to water infiltration and mortar joint degradation. Portions of walls are missing masonry units or are severely damaged. In addition to rehabilitation of selected portions of the walls and extensive repointing of mortar joints, the parapet coping needs to be repaired, not only to re-establish the proper appearance but also to establish a water-tight cap to stop the infiltration of water into the wall from the top. Broken and missing brick will be replaced. Once the brick is reset, a cementitious coating will be applied to re-create the original appearance of the coping. New roofing membrane will be installed at the back side of the parapets and over the top of the parapet (not visible) to ensure the parapet is water tight. The masonry restoration work comprises the majority of the budget for this phase of the project.


One defining architectural feature of Temple Freda are the two Corinthian columns supporting the entry pediment. Both columns are significantly deteriorated and will be repaired during the first phase of building restoration. The column shafts, built from an assembly of tapered wooden staves, are cracking and warping. The bases have collapsed and the capitals have generally deteriorated with portions of one column capital missing. Once the pediment is properly supported one of the columns will be removed and replaced. On the remaining column the intact portions of the capital will be cleaned, sealed and refinished. As needed, sections of the intact elements will be used to produce a master mold to manufacture parts to replace the missing sections. Once the replica of the missing portion is attached, the entire capital will be repositioned so the repaired portion will face the interior of the porch and the street view will be of an original portion of the capital.


The exterior walls are constructed of three-wythe load bearing brick masonry with no internal ties within the masonry system. There is a visible outward lean of the southeast upper corner of the south façade, the masonry having been displaced several inches. If this outward action is allowed to continue, the wall will become unstable and failure will occur. To permanently stabilize and strengthen the post-repair structure, the first in a system of stainless steel tie rods will be installed at the rear of the structure.


Phase I-A was completed in July 2018.

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