Brick by (beautiful) brick
Bricklayers and other craftworkers win award for work on the Natural History Building
The International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers has awarded the 2017 Best Comprehensive Restoration Project award to the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 8 of Illinois for its work on Natural History Building, which recently reopened after an extensive $70 million renovation.
Based in Washington, D.C., the International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers represents trowel trades craftworkers across the U.S. and Canada. It awards craft awards to unions for distinguished service to their communities.
“I submitted the Natural History Building for this multi-craft award because of the historical value of the building and work that was performed on the project,” said Spence, who has worked as a bricklayer for 38 years. “These included PCC (pointer-cleaner-caulker), masonry, ceramic tile, terrazzo, marble and three stage plastering.”
Built in 1892, the building is on the National Register of Historic places and one of the oldest buildings on campus. The building now has state of the art labs and classrooms, while still maintaining the integrity of the original building design.
“The bulk of plastering work was 175,000 square feet of free coat plaster which is rarely done anymore. That was a big deal for us,” Spence said. “We were awarded this because of our training, skills, and professionalism through the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers trade.”
The members who worked on the project will all receive certificates of achievement and be recognized for their work. Spence credits the union’s successful partnership with the university as being a huge part of the reason they won the award.
“The International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers said it was one of the tougher years to judge different awards, and it was nice that we did receive it,” Spence said. “For any bricklayer there is so much work that goes into our projects. It’s nice to be recognized for the skills that took us so much energy and time to perfect.”