Janiczek builds is currently working on a condo renovation located in the historic Lenox
Building at 13th and Spruce Street in Philadelphia. During demolition we discovered
unique historic building materials and techniques that were used to build many colonial
style houses in the late 1930s-1940.
Janiczek Builds found plaster mixed with horse hair and light weight fibers with wood chips to
build the old walls. Not often do you see or hear about plaster mixed with horse hair in today’s
modern and sustainable building practices as fiber glass products have rendered the addition of
horse hair fibers obsolete.
In the early 1940s, installers added horse hair to plaster mix to reinforce walls and ensure
the finish would last. Horse hair and wood chips were used for binding to help hold the surfaces
together. Three coats of plaster were used to thicken the plaster and the horse hair was used to
strengthen the wall. Today, many installers use conventional Drywall instead of layering plaster
as it is cost effective and the installation time is virtually cut in half.
Light weight fibers with concrete
Horse Hair and Wood Chips