The Branch House Brickwork + Mortars

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Brick has been a common building material in Virginia since the colonial era but the Branch House’s use of brick is unique.  You will see up-close drone images of the ornamental brickwork and sculpture that is typically seen from the ground.  You will learn about brick restoration techniques and considerations that are factored into historic brick buildings across Virginia, including the importance in selecting the right mortar.  You will also learn about the changes in the brick industry during the period of the house’s construction, which transitioned from centuries old practices to contemporary construction.  Brick may be a common building material but at the Branch it is uncommon restoration.


Warren Davies, Virginia Masonry Restoration – Historic Masonry & The Branch House

A third generation brick and stone mason with 35 years of experience, specializing in historic masonry restoration and preservation.  The following is a list of projects completed by Warren Davies.  These projects have all required varied degrees of masonry stabilization and restoration. Davies received the 2019 Virginia AIA Craftsmanship Award and has worked on notable restoration projects such as the Virginia State Capitol, Jamestown Old Church Cemetery, and Mount Airy Plantation.

Walter M. Dotts III, Trustee – Old House Authority, and great-grandson of John Kerr Branch and Beulah Gould Branch

A native of Richmond, VA, Dotts’ early participation in philanthropic causes reflected his varied interests, ranging from historic preservation, performing arts, education, animal welfare, and genealogy.  Dotts’ interest in historic preservation and traditional building techniques resulted in his restoration of a mid-18th century country house in Dutchess County, New York, and an early 19th century house in Richmond. That experience led to his becoming an advisor to realtors and property owners on preservation priorities.  He co-founded Old House Authority, a company providing professional advice on the rehabilitation and conservation of old and historic buildings and materials. Dotts is an alumnus of St. Christopher’s School in Richmond and Brown University.

Calder Loth, Architectural Historian

Mr. Loth was honored with the 2017 AIA Virginia medal for his significant contributions to the understanding of Virginia’s built environment. His efforts to preserve Virginia’s architectural legacy have impacted all residents of the Commonwealth. He spent four decades on the staff of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) as an advocate, educator, and historian after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architectural history from the University of Virginia. Even after his 2009 retirement, he continues lecture and teach and serve on boards and advisory committees for numerous historic properties and projects. The Branch Museum is among the many Virginia sites that have benefited from Mr. Loth’s expertise and knowledge.


Fred Esenwein, Ph.D., Glavé & Holmes Architecture, Moderator

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