From the Editor: A Home Run for Masonry Design

Words: Bronzella Cleveland
Shoppers and passers-by get a glimpse of the exterior of one of Amazon’s “brick and mortar” stores in Seattle in December 2016. (Photo by David Ryder for The New York Times.)
Shoppers and passers-by get a glimpse of the exterior of one of Amazon’s “brick and mortar” stores in Seattle in December 2016.
(Photo by David Ryder for The New York Times.)

Editor Karen HickeyKaren Hickey, editor

A March 2017 report by The New York Times described the online retail giant Amazon’s foray into brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon is slowly building physical bookstores and grocery/convenience stores and is exploring stores that would sell furniture, home appliances and electronics.

Did you catch that? No matter what the stores might look like or what materials are used to build them, they’re referred to as “brick-and-mortar stores.” The Amazon Go store in Seattle, for one, does not have a brick exterior. I find this expression a testament to the durability of masonry over time.

Still, despite the resilience of brick, stone and other similar materials, it’s no secret that masonry restoration is often necessary. In this issue of Masonry Design, I’m excited to bring you the story of the Minnesota State Capitol restoration. This project, which won the MIA+BSI 2016 Grande Pinnacle Award, included the replacement of more than 3,900 individual pieces of marble.

We’re also introducing a new section on virtual reality this month. Could VR be the most talked about yet least utilized technology in design and construction? Masonry Design hopes to help you understand it further so you can begin using this highly accessible technology or delve deeper into it.

Next, be sure to check out this issue’s Industry Outlook column, where Brian Fraley explains how to begin building your social media presence.

Finally, we put the spotlight on SunTrust Park, the brand-new stadium for the Atlanta Braves. Beyond the building’s external brick, there are also hardscaping/landscape architecture, natural stone and exterior lighting aspects to the project. You might say it’s a home run for masonry design.

To make comments or suggestions, send e-mail to

  • Highlights coming in Sept/Oct ‘17
  • Technology: Seismic Retrofitting, Reinforcement and Anchors
  • Design Trends: Green Building
  • Plus:
    Recycled Masonry Materials
    New Green and Sustainable Products
Comparison of Laying Brick Versus Block

Brick and CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit) are two commonly used materials in masonry. As a mason, it is important to understand the similarities, differences, pros, and cons of both materials, as well as the variations in layout and measurement techniques, mo

Westlake Royal Building Products™ to Showcase Be Boundless™ Campaign, Top Industry Trends and New Product Innovations at Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC)

HOUSTON (June 18, 2024) — Westlake Royal Building Products™ (Westlake Royal), a Westlake company (NYSE:WLK), will showcase its Be Boundless™ campaign, top industry trends and new product innovations at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) in Anahe

Bringing Bricks Back To Life with BrickRecyc

BrickRecyc, a machine that removes old mortar from bricks, was invented by three entrepreneurs from Quebec in 2021. Tommy Bouillon, David Dufour, and Hugo Cartier were the innovation's source. The invention emerged out of necessity. Tommy Bouillon, head o

Are Your Employees Safe While Working In Hot Weather?

As the temperatures rise outside during summer months, so do the risks that employees working in hot conditions may be harmed by the dangerous effects it can have. Exposure to high temperatures can be deadly. It’s your responsibility as a business owner