Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Historic Roadside Properties

on Minnesota Highways

Historic Stone Masonry Preservation Workshop

CSAH 41 (200th Ave.) in Martin County
Garrison Concourse, built 1936-39. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota.

MnDOT owns approximately 102 historic properties which contain historic stone structures as well as a number of historic stone masonry bridges built in the New Deal Era located throughout Minnesota. Historic stone masonry is a specialty trade which requires different skilla from those of the contemporary masonry trade. Participants may increase understanding of the importance and means of gaining these specialty skills in order to create successful project outcomes that meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, masonry guidelines and preservation briefs. Attendees may view a lime mortar demonstration and discuss stone matching, dressing and rebuilding. The workshop features a field visit with historic stone structure inspection and masonry demonstration at the Burns Avenue Scenic Overlook in St. Paul.

Date and location

October 4-5, 2017
Minnesota State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155


The cost of the registration is $300 and includes breakfast and lunch each day.

Registration is required. Seating is limited so register early to ensure a spot. For more information and to register, see the registration form (PDF, 13 MB), registration form - for State employees only (PDF, 345 KB) and course agenda (PDF, 80 KB).

Course objectives

  • Discuss history of mortar and repointing with lime putty mortar.
  • Identify quality workmanship.
  • Discuss quality control methods such as test panels in construction.
  • Discuss the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards as they relate to stone matching, stone dressing and rebuilding and other aspects of historic preservation.
  • Describe historic masonry construction specifications and plans.
  • View a mortar removal and replacement demonstration.
  • Tour State Capitol and identify specialized stone repair techniques.

Who should attend

Masons, architects, local government planning agencies and historic preservation professionals.


John Speweik

John Speweik, CSI, is a historic masonry specialist for Speweik Preservation Consultants, Inc., an independent historic masonry consulting firm based in Elgin, Illinois.

Speweik works exclusively on historic masonry preservation projects nationwide. He is a leading U.S. expert in historic masonry preservation with 30 years of experience in this field. Speweik is a fifth generation stonemason from a family of masons dating back to 1870 in Posen, Prussia. He frequently lectures on the subject of stone masonry restoration and preservation at state historic preservation conferences throughout the country. Speweik is co-author of the National Park Service Preservation Brief #2, “Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings.” He has written books and articles regarding historic masonry for industry magazines. His project experience includes numerous state capitol buildings, federal monuments, large high-rise buildings, and significant campus structures at universities throughout the U.S.

As a mason, Speweik understands masonry building materials from a true hands-on perspective. An important goal of John’s work has been to develop historic rehabilitation treatment recommendations and certified project specifications sensitive to the historic integrity of each specific structure which establish the workmanship quality standard for installation.

In support of this goal, Speweik has created a unique test panel Historic Stone Masonry Certificate Training program. The training incorporates “on-the-wall” skill demonstrations in order to evaluate worker proficiency in the execution of the specified project treatments. This training has been widely successful because it features masons teaching masons the means and methods of historic masonry architecture, their individual responsibility and the role they play in historic preservation it through the tools of the trade.

Barritt Lovelace

Barritt Lovelace is a licensed professional engineer and has 20 years of structural engineering experience in both bridge design and inspection. He has designed over 50 bridges and has performed over 500 bridge inspections including underwater and rope access inspections. Barritt recently inspected the Stone Arch Masonry Bridge in Minneapolis. He is a certified diver, rope access technician, non-destructive testing technician and National Highway Institute instructor.


This workshop is presented by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Speweik Preservation Consultants, Inc. and Collins Engineers, Inc.