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Restoration Resources

These are a few of our favorite resources for research and information. We are continuing to update the list.



Lime Mortars:


Stronger Is NOT Better” | Matt Wolf | Masonry Design


The Basics of Understanding Lime Mortar” | Matt Wolf | Masonry Design


Henry Frerk Son’s Lime Mortar Tips


Old-House Journal Magazine


Lime: The Basics | Taylor, Jonathan | buildingconservation.com


Why Use Lime? | Building Limes Forum


Scottish Lime Centre | An organization that promotes the knowledge and traditional skills required for the conservation, repair and maintenance of the historic built environment

Terra Cotta Resources:


Friends of Terra Cotta |  They offer a searchable database of citations for terra cotta articles.


Gladding, McBean | Terra cotta manufacturer founded in 1875


Boston Valley | Terra cotta manufacturer


The Brickbuilder was published from 1892 until 1916. In 1917 it was folded into Architectural Forum. The Brickbuilder had many articles about terra cotta, although it frequently called it “burnt clay.” The following editions can be downloaded: v.1, 1892 v.2, 1893 v.4, 1895 v.6, 1897 v.7, 1898 v.9, 1900 v.23, 1914 v.24, 1915 v.25, 1916


Boston Valley | Boston Valley Common Terminology | (compiled from other references)


Davis, Charles Thomas| A Practical Treatise on the Manufacture of Brick, Tile, and Terra Cotta | 1895


National Terra Cotta Society | Terra Cotta Architectural Terra Cotta: Standard Construction |1914


Smithsonian Institute’s Bibliography of Ceramic Tile and Architectural Terra Cotta| http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmah/ceratile.htm

Searchable Databases:


JSTOR | Collection of scholarly articles on a wide range of topics. It’s now available remotely by logging into the Chicago Public Library with your library card. http://www.chipublib.org or through APTI.org. (Members only)


Library of Congress | www.loc.gov (HABS/HAER drawings as well as architectural photos and industry publications)

Restoration and Preservation Websites:


Old-House Journal | The original preservation and restoration magazine for owners of historic houses.


The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards | The guiding concepts for the treatment of historic properties


APT Building Technology Heritage Library | Pre-1964 collection of building resources


Historic American Building Survey | Documentation of many historic sites throughout the country

Chicago Area Resources and Organizations:


Landmarks Illinois | Statewide preservation advocacy organization


Preservation Chicago | Chicago-focused preservation advocacy organization


Historic Chicago Bungalow Association| A nonprofit group that helps owners maintain and preserve their Chicago bungalows


Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago | A nonprofit dedicated to neighborhood revitalization that assists homeowners and communities


Partners for Sacred Places | A national nonprofit (with a Chicago office) that takes a multifaceted approach to helping congregations preserve their buildings


Association for Preservation Technology Great Lakes Western Chapter | Regional chapter of the national preservation professional organization.


Explore Chicago | Consolidated access to many of the area’s archival resources


City of Chicago Historic Survey | The city’s inventory of historically significant resources


Chicago Landmarks |City historic structures and districts