Pine Hall Brick Company just introduced Old Brick House, a new line of brick selections, inspired by Colonial-era homes in Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire that are still standing today.
The colors and textures, taken by combining existing Augustine and Tidewater bricks from the Pine Hall Brick line, look as though they are centuries old. Like the originals that were used in houses in the 1700s, these bricks will be around centuries from now.
Bricks are different than they used to be, but in some ways, they’re exactly the same, said Ted Corvey, vice president of sales and marketing at Pine Hall Brick Company.
“In those days, most of the brick made was the color of the clay when it was dug out of the ground and fired in the kiln,” said Corvey. “Our modern manufacturing processes mean that we can manipulate the clay and the firing process to produce a wide palette of colors. But it’s important to note that what today’s brick has in common with brick made 300 years ago is that both have a rich texture and a durability that lasts for hundreds of years. These new introductions celebrate the authenticity of clay bricks.”
The new introductions and the houses that inspired them are:
The Kennon House brick reflects a dark blend of deep reds, blues and burgundies, which lends itself well to traditional home designs. The actual house is in Conjurer’s Neck in Colonial Heights, Virginia, at the site of a prehistoric Native American village. English merchant Richard Kennon married Elizabeth Worsham in 1675 and bought the property two years later. The Kennons built and expanded the house, which became a celebrated venue for entertaining. Guests enjoyed its spacious hall, an upstairs ballroom and beautifully landscaped grounds. Damaged by fire in 1879, the house was rebuilt with modifications and is now available to rent for meetings and special occasions.
The Barker House brick mingles greys and browns with dashes of white, which show similarities to colors from ancient European kilns. The actual house is the John Barker House in Wallingford, Connecticut. Built in 1756, it’s the earliest surviving brick house in the state. The builders of the house were master masons Francis Letort of Philadelphia and Thomas Bills of New York, who just prior to building the Barker House built Connecticut Hall on the Yale University campus from 1750 to 1753, a building that is still in use. Many of the details in Connecticut Hall are repeated on the John Barker House.
The Tufts House brick is made with a white clay dust over a grey base, blended randomly with the brown brick body. The actual house is the Peter Tufts House in Medford, Massachusetts, is believed to have been built in 1678. Historians believe that it was built by Peter Tufts, who sold it to his son, Peter Tufts Jr., in 1680. Brick mason William Bucknam was brought over from Chelsea, England to build the house. It was later saved from demolition when Samuel Lawrence purchased it as a wedding gift for his daughter in 1887. Much of the exterior remains original, except for the front porch, which was added in 1900. The house became famous locally when the City of Medford used an image of the house in its city seal when it incorporated in 1892.
The Weeks House brick carries a grey base, mixed with random white, brown and darker colors. The Weeks House itself is a historic house museum in Greenland, New Hampshire, which is believed to have been built in the early 1700s by an early colonial member of the area’s politically prominent Weeks family. The house is a two-story brick structure with a gabled roof and end chimneys, with a slightly asymmetrical five-bay façade and an entrance topped by a segmented arch. The house’s exact construction date is unknown, but it appears to have been built after a house in nearby Portsmouth, the MacPheadris-Warner House, which was one of the first brick houses to be built anywhere in northern New England. The two houses share some elements, leading to the theory that masons used similar construction methods in both.