Brick + Board is one of our favorite partners in the Baltimore building scene. Within 5 minutes drive of Greenmount West, Brick + Board operates a large warehouse that sells salvaged materials including bricks, boards and unique architectural elements. All of these salvaged pieces come from deconstructed Baltimore rowhomes, and Brick + Board has built a business upon hiring folks with barriers to employment, who take these homes apart piece by piece.
Since starting our project at 1600 Barclay, we have found numerous projects that allowed us to tap into Brick + Board’s stockpile of beautiful building products.
Brick Accent Wall
As a prospective homebuyer in Baltimore, there are a couple things that are must haves – one of which is interior brick walls on the inside of your home. Baltimore is a city built of bricks, and while this is true of other cities up and down the East Coast – in Baltimore, the WHOLE city is built of bricks and it has come to define the aesthetic of residential architecture in this town. When starting our project at 1600 Barclay, we began excavating our lot and found a trove of old bricks underground. These were the original bricks from the homes that stood on our lots dating back to the early 1900s. As we dug up these bricks, we started stacking them to the side, with plans to find a place for them inside our new homes. As we got towards the finishing stage of our first home, we decided to install a facade wall of bricks at the back of the 1st floor – this way we could provide our homebuyers with that must have look of interior brick within this rowhome. To supplement the stack of bricks we had dug up, we called upon Brick + Board to provide a load of old common bricks, which would match with what we dug out of the earth. Matching the bricks to the ones we provided them, we now have a beautiful accent wall, which is a feature piece within our first home at 1608 Barclay St.
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Salvaging the original bricks from the homes that used to stand at 1600 Barclay. We used a mix of these bricks and salvaged common bricks from Brick + Board to construct the accent walls within the 1600 Barclay properties.
Hemlock Stair Treads
As custom homebuilders in Maryland, Four Twelve has always felt that textures provide a sense of warmth and character to a space – and are critical to tying together the design of a home. For the staircases within our first home at 1608 Barclay, we chose to build the stringers and railings from black painted steel and the treads from reclaimed, sanded and polyurethaned wooden beams. In order to source this wood, we called up Brick + Board and they provided us with some gorgeous Hemlock boards from their warehouse. We had never used Hemlock before and this project came out beautifully.
Planing these boards on the top half, allowed for the wood grains to surface and a smooth texture to appear on the face of the treads. Leaving the underside in its natural state, these treads have a rough bearded texture with reddish hues.
When receiving salvaged material, there is a chunk of work that goes into prepping them – to become installed pieces. Step 1 is running them through a planer.
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Another design element that is uniquely Baltimore, is the use of marble steps leading up to the front door of a rowhome. There is nowhere quite like Baltimore – in that this city is chock full of marble slabs, sitting right out on the curb in front of thousands of rowhomes across town. Fortunately for us, this is one of Brick + Board’s specialties, procuring marble steps from rowhomes they deconstruct across town. These steps came from rowhomes deconstructed in East Baltimore on Federal St, not far from our building project in Greenmount West.