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Where does restoration end and art begin?

When the initial evaluation of the Marsh Mausoleum was complete, the picture was grim. Among the many threats to its integrity, the survey showed extreme deterioration of the sandstone, including spalling layers, mineral deposits, and biological growth.
After evaluating the integrity of the stone and reviewing the accepted common practices a remediation plan that met the Secretary of the Interior Standards was determined. The Oakland restoration team, under the direction of Dustin Hornsby, removed the failing layers of sandstone until sound material was reached. Nearly 25% of the mausoleum had failing
stone, and required treatment. Samples of the rock were sent to Cathedral Stone, a respected masonry preservation supplier, to match the color and texture.
The team used Jahn M70 Sandstone Repair Mortar to fill in the removed
layers. Sounds like a simple fix, right? Wrong.
This process was complicated. The team was trained by Cathedral Stone in the application of the repair mortar; several layers were placed on the mausoleum to ensure proper bonding. Once the final layer was in place, the team had a limited amount of time to recreate the surface finish before the layer dried. They worked in small sections and used a miter rod to level out the surface. Not only did the team have to create a smooth surface to match the original stone, they had to replicate the decorative features.
Replicating/restoring the original decorative forms took painstaking attention to detail, and a high level of skill. The team measured, and carefully etched the design into the mortar. They altered an existing concave stone beader to match the depth and curve already on the stone, and used a two inch trowel to replicate the decorations by hand. They used a wooden template to match the angles on the water table at the bottom of the building. Where does restoration end and art begin? The answer: restoration is art.
It is a delicate balance of combining history, research, and craftsmanship. When you look at a mausoleum, a marker, or a wall that appears in great condition, pay attention to the details, realize the work that went into maintaining that monument, and appreciate the artistry.

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