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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Flint in Genesee County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Terrace Reconstruction Project

 
 
Terrace Reconstruction Project Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, September 28, 2019
1. Terrace Reconstruction Project Marker
Inscription.  
A recent building assessment revealed that Applewood's terrace needed major repairs. Because brick expands and concrete shrinks along with the changes in Michigan's weather, the mortar joints have loosened. This has caused cracking throughout the terrace and damage to the thresholds under the doors that connect the house and terrace. To prevent further damage, the entire terrace is being replaced.

History of the Terrace
The terrace is original to the house and can be accessed through the gallery, sun room, and dining room by French doors. The canvas awning over the terrace provided shade and protection from the rain. The home has never had central air conditioning, but the awning helped keep the terrace and the gallery cool on warm, sunny days. The first set of awnings was purchased in 1918 and has been repaired or replaced every few years.

The fountain on the south lawn was originally a deeper swimming pool. Family photos show the Motts used the terrace to relax, read, or even hold meetings in this idyllic space.

Change Over Time
The terrace underwent a restoration, brick replacement,
Terrace Reconstruction Project Marker - upper left images image. Click for full size.
2. Terrace Reconstruction Project Marker - upper left images
The terrace has always offered comfortable seating with greenery around the exterior border. The children frequently would play hide and seek in the vases pictured here around 1918.
and slight remodeling around 1980, most likely around the same time that the pool was converted into a fountain. The floor's brick pattern was changed from a triple basket weave to a double basket weave.

The original brick was the same used for the house and two different types of mortar were used for exterior versus interior walls. Exterior facing walls used mortar made of sand and Portland cement with Medusa Compound added as a waterproofing agent. The mortar's color was specified to match the limestone trim.

Historic Preservation
As a historic site, our focus is on preservation of the terrace's historical integrity. The original terrace was built in 1916 and lasted about 65 years before being replaced and reshaped by Ruth Mott after Charles Stewart Mott's death. The new terrace was larger and filled in places that were previously left open for plantings. However, the redesign did not update the terrace's foundation, which is the root cause of much of the recent damage. This project will correct this and ensure that Ruth Mott's redesigned terrace will be stabilized and last for years to come. The double basket weave pattern will be preserved, and limestone markers will show where plants previously grew while protecting the new foundation from the elements.

Project Timeline

July
> Removal of awning
>
Terrace Reconstruction Project Marker - lower left images image. Click for full size.
3. Terrace Reconstruction Project Marker - lower left images
All bricks removed
> Foundation uncovered/repair assessment

August
> All three thresholds replaced

September
> Foundation repaired and made to fit Ruth Mott's terrace redesign
> Bricks laid with expansion joints to ensure longevity

October
> New terrace complete
 
Location. 43° 1.422′ N, 83° 40.387′ W. Marker is in Flint, Michigan, in Genesee County. Marker can be reached from Albert R. Horrigan Drive. Marker is on the Applewood Estate about 500 feet west of the east entrance. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1400 East Kearsley Street, Flint MI 48503, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fun and Games (within shouting distance of this marker); Renewing an Old Orchard (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Rise and Fall of Gilkey Creek (about 400 feet away); Applewood Estate (about 500 feet away); The Heart of the Farm (about 600 feet away); The Demonstration Garden (about 600 feet away); Gatehouse (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Applewood Estate (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Flint.
 
Categories. ArchitectureMan-Made Features
 
Terrace Reconstruction Project Marker - upper right image image. Click for full size.
4. Terrace Reconstruction Project Marker - upper right image
Back of the house with original terrace and pool shortly after construction around 1917.
Terrace Reconstruction Project Marker - lower right images image. Click for full size.
5. Terrace Reconstruction Project Marker - lower right images
The terrace during original construction in 1916-17 and shortly after reconstruction, July 1980.
Terrace Reconstruction Project Markers image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, September 28, 2019
6. Terrace Reconstruction Project Markers
There are identical markers on both sides of the terrace reconstruction site.
 

More. Search the internet for Terrace Reconstruction Project.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 20, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 24 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 20, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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