Fundy Stonecraft was hired to design, carve, and construct a new rear entrance to the 1838 Cranewood building in order to facilitated its adaptive reuse as a restaurant. The doorway provides its patrons access to the southern facing patio, creating additional seating room the warmest and sunniest area of the building. This intervention was chosen in a location that had previously been altered from its original form in a was in need of repair so to lessen the impact to the original fabric. Modifying the opening would address these needed repairs and serve the modified use of the building.
Several designs were proposed for the client which prioritized cost, appearance, and function is a variety of ways. The design that was chosen is the most sympathetic and maximizes the width of the entrance. It is historically accurate in that it is constructed as it would have been (with one modification) during the time and style of the original construction. It also erases a later modification to the building (the existing window was not original) that is significant, although of a poorer quality than the original.
The main building was constructed in 1838. It has two walls constructed of rubble sneck bond and two, more visible, walls constructed of ashlar. The new entrance is on a rubble wall, therefore, the design was intended to mimic the windows on the same floor of the corresponding wall. These windows, shown below, have a flat brownstone arch above a greenstone lintel, rybits, and sill. The new design would copy the mouldings and tooling of these stone but, modify the bonding to better distribute load into the length of the wall (which has been the cause of numerous repairs on the original design).
The greenstone was supplied from Atlantic Sandstone Company’s Dorchester quarry as sawn billets. From there, I shaped the stone using only hand tools to mimic the texture of the original stone. Every sawn surface is textured before being placed in the wall to ensure a strong bond with the mortar and erase the visible perfection of a sawn plane.
Water ingress beneath the sill of the second floor window had caused sever damage to the masonry below. The area was back pointed and the most severely damaged stones were replaced. The bond pattern, stone colour, tooling, and joint size of the wall, although variable, was mimicked as closely as possible. As these stone age and oxidize, the colour will draw closer to the surrounding stones. Unfortunately, the carbon staining that exists on much of this building is a result of the coal-burning age and, likely, won’t collect on replacement stones. I resized surplus stone from the rebuilt fence to create the flat arch above the lintel.