Over the past couple of weeks, you have likely noticed the scaffolding surrounding the smokestack at the Car Barn Apartments on Purchase Street in New Bedford. Maybe you've even seen the crew climbing that scaffolding to work on the city's skyline staple structure. You may even be wondering exactly what it is they're doing to the smokestack. I certainly was.

Every time I head into the studios in Fairhaven, I drive by the Car Barn smokestack and I couldn't help but be curious about what work might be going on over there. After all, one side of the smokestack is still painted with the word "Claremont," not "The Car Barn."

Google Maps
Google Maps

Turns out, no major changes are coming to the apartment building or its smokestack. We spoke with staff at the Car Barn who said simply "we are freshening it up, cleaning it up and doing the whole outside." Staff went on to say there is "scaffolding around the whole building as work is done on the roof and brick work on the side." As for the smokestack, we were told they are "repointing it and repairing it."

For those that have never done masonry work on an over 100-year-old brick building, repointing just means they are removing and replacing old brick and mortar that may be breaking down to ensure that water doesn't get into any cracks.

Considering the long history of the Car Barn building, it is no surprise that repairs are going to be required from time to time. We all just get to watch the latest updates to this local historic building as they happen.

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