25 Feb The Brickyard pays tribute to the world’s best building product
With clay pavers and facebrick and public art made of clay sculpture as part of the design theme, the Brickyard housing development in Cary, NC was already a project that we could get behind.
But when you consider that the developers set out to honor the brick industry in North Carolina (which we’ve been a part of since the 1920s) and that they even named a house after us, then that turned us from supporters into all-out cheerleaders.
There’s even a floorplan named for us: Pinehall. It’s a three-story, 1,856-square-foot townhome, which comes with 3 bedrooms, 2 and a half baths, a two-car garage and two balconies.
A prominent roundabout on the community’s main street is paved with Pine Hall Brick clay pavers by landscaping company Yardology.
Within the Brickyard, names for houses and streets were taken from brick plants or brick terminology. In addition to Pinehall, homebuyers can find Statesville, Fairview, the Firebrick and the Ashlar, along with King Closer, Brickfield, Firebrick and Kiln, among others.
Meritage Homes, which is the seventh largest public homebuilder in the United States, opened the Brickyard in May 2019. The development offers 401 new home sites with three- and four-bedroom options that range from approximately 1,700 square feet to approximately 2,800 square feet, with prices starting in the low $300,000s. Buyers have their pick of 12 floorplans, many of which are available for quick move-in, in both townhome and single-family versions. They’re designed to appeal to a variety of homebuyers from first-timers to families with children and move-down buyers.
The Brickyard is following the real estate mantra of location, location, location. In Wake County, NC, demand for new homes is increasing among buyers who want to avoid rocketing rents. Accordingly, Meritage designed this particular line of homes with many features that are typically available in more expensive homes, including bigger kitchens with large islands and granite countertops, as well as upgraded cabinets, laundry rooms, plumbing fixtures and high-performing, energy-efficient appliances.
Outdoors, Brickyard residents can look forward to outdoor workout stations, a covered pavilion and gazebos, a swimming pool with cabanas, playgrounds, a dog park and scenic trails. Located off the I-540 freeway, the Brickyard is close to great parks, restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
Meritage Homes is building the Brickyard development atop a former brickyard.
The Triangle Business Journal reported that in 2015, Meritage Homes bought the former 100-acre site of a brick manufacturing plan.
Add into that the fact that North Carolina produced more brick than any other state in the post- World War II building boom, designing a housing development to pay tribute to the brick industry makes sense.
“We wanted to build a community that would preserve this rich history of Cary’s bricklayer past, while offering the latest in energy efficiency and innovative design, all at an affordable price,” said Ric Rojas, Raleigh Division president at Meritage Homes. “As you drive by Brickyard, you can see the entrance monument of workers building brick-by-brick. That’s how this state flourished and we wanted to honor this community by incorporating these artistic elements throughout the development. We’re excited to give homeowners an opportunity to live in this unique community.”
Brad Spencer, a Reidsville, N.C.-based brick sculptor, made several pieces for the Brickyard development, using the same raw clay material that Pine Hall Brick Company uses to make clay pavers and facebrick at our plant in Madison, NC. In addition to the sculptures at the entrance that depict bricklayers, Spencer made statues of a boy and a girl that will be at a community mailbox and a larger sculpture, which is a sofa with a dog and a girl sitting on it, for the dog park.
Spencer’s signature design is of a solid object made of fired red clay with mortar lines carved into place in the exact proportions of brick that’s been laid into a brick wall, with contrasting material representing the mortar. The effect is three-dimensional and looks almost as though the piece has grown out of the wall behind it.
Last month, Masonry magazine reported that Spencer works with blanks out of raw clay with a face that looks like an 8-inch brick, but which can be up to 12 inches in length. The blanks are made in our plant in Madison, NC, loaded onto wooden pallets, wrapped in plastic and delivered to Spencer’s studio in nearby Reidsville.
There, Spencer stacks up the blanks with clay spacers just under a half-inch thick, which is the same dimension as a mortar joint. The magazine reported that once Spencer has completed the sculpture, he numbers each piece and takes photographs to document where everything goes.
The sculpture is taken apart and taken back to the Pine Hall Brick plant, where it is fired in our kiln, before being shipped to the jobsite.
There, brick masons work alongside Spencer to use the same mortar and bricklaying skills they use to build a wall to put the sculptures back together again.
The Brickyard is a great tribute to a great, historic and timeless building product.