This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fallen parapet

Sometime late last week there was some excitement in downtown Rensselaer. A number of bricks from the decorative parapet on the old Murray Building fell. They had enough weight to crash through the metal awning that protects the sidewalk in front of the building.
Here is a close-up of the place from where the bricks came. What causes a bunch of bricks to suddenly fall out of a wall?
Below is a better shot of the collapsed awning and the bricks on the sidewalk in front of the entrance to the store that a few months ago was J&L Antiques and Things.
The building is for sale. This odd event will not help the owner move the building.

1 comment:

Capouch said...

The part of the building which fell is called a cornice. They are decorative embellishments on the tops of walls.

The piece fell out because the cornice wasn't maintained; it is a common failing in aging brick buildings. There was probably some haste after the owners pondered what would have happened to people had they been under that awning.

However, it wouldn't have cost much more to repair and renew the original wall, which would have preserved the historical integrity of the building.

What is chronicled here is the loss of a significant architectural element.