This is Joe Nech, owner of Advantage Masonry, a company that specializes in restoring brick, mortar, stone, anything made of masonry and the folks hired to re-build part of the crumbling “Pink Wall” that circles that cute neighborhood known as “Behind the Pink Wall”. He is only repairing the part in from of the Athena and Preston Tower. The rest, over by Averill Way, will still look like dirty old brick and make us all wonder why it’s called a “pink wall”.
Joe showed me that the brick was indeed once quite rosy, but elements, time and dirt have grayed the mortar and discolored the pink tones. When he was first called, the owners just wanted him to repair the wall (which was never built with re-bar, imagine that) but he suggested a complete overhaul of cleaning the brick and rebuilding a whole portion. You see, Joe is a brick man extraordinare and perfectionist.
“I once said, we could build a statute of Jesus out of brick,” says Joe, “then someone challenged me to it!”
If you want to know anything about brick, Joe is your go-to guy. I had to ask something: is stucco a masonry product? Yes, he said, it is. So then, I asked, why do some of these old neighborhood deed restrictions make such a doo-doo fuss about not letting folks build homes of stucco, especially those restrictions drafted in the fifties and sixties.
Joe told me that for some reason, people back then just loved brick and dislike stucco. Brick was in such high demand for awhile here that the brick factories like Acme could not keep up, which is why many Dallas homes were built with softer Mexican adobe bricks in the late fifties and early sixties.
In California, and other high earth-quake prone areas, bricks are prohibited as a building material because when a quake occurs, the brick could collapse and cause injury. Stucco is the material of choice out there. Maybe we need to look at it more closely too, here in Texas, what with all this fracking going on.