A recent building assessment revealed that Applewood's terrace needed major repairs. Because brick expands and concrete shrinks along with the changes in Michigan's weather, the mortar joints have loosened. This has caused cracking throughout the terrace and damage to the thresholds under the doors that connect the house and terrace. To prevent further damage, the entire terrace is being replaced.
History of the Terrace
The terrace is original to the house and can be accessed through the gallery, sun room, and dining room by French doors. The canvas awning over the terrace provided shade and protection from the rain. The home has never had central air conditioning, but the awning helped keep the terrace and the gallery cool on warm, sunny days. The first set of awnings was purchased in 1918 and has been repaired or replaced every few years.
The fountain on the south lawn was originally a deeper swimming pool. Family photos show the Motts used the terrace to relax, read, or even hold meetings in this idyllic space.
Change Over Time
The terrace underwent a restoration, brick replacement, and slight remodeling around 1980, most likely around the same time that the pool was converted into a fountain. The floor's brick pattern was changed from a triple basket weave to a double
The original brick was the same used for the house and two different types of mortar were used for exterior versus interior walls. Exterior facing walls used mortar made of sand and Portland cement with Medusa Compound added as a waterproofing agent. The mortar's color was specified to match the limestone trim.
As a historic site, our focus is on preservation of the terrace's historical integrity. The original terrace was built in 1916 and lasted about 65 years before being replaced and reshaped by Ruth Mott after Charles Stewart Mott's death. The new terrace was larger and filled in places that were previously left open for plantings. However, the redesign did not update the terrace's foundation, which is the root cause of much of the recent damage. This project will correct this and ensure that Ruth Mott's redesigned terrace will be stabilized and last for years to come. The double basket weave pattern will be preserved, and limestone markers will show where plants previously grew while protecting the new foundation from the elements.
> Removal of awning
> All bricks removed
> Foundation uncovered/repair assessment
> All three thresholds replaced
> Foundation repaired and made
to fit Ruth Mott's terrace redesign
> Bricks laid with expansion joints to ensure longevity
> New terrace complete