Want a real piece of Notre Dame University history? These bricks were removed from the original stadium walls during the renovation / expansion of the football stadium in 1996 - 1997. None of these are full sized - they were chipped and broken to varying degrees during the removal process. They are from the original walls of the 1930 construction of the stadium! You can enjoy owning a piece of the stadium that Knute Rockne built.
This item comes in a box with a certificate of authenticity from Notre Dame, labeled with the list of undefeated seasons.
Want to build something small at your home or office with hunks of Notre Dame memories? We can talk about a volume purchase, if you'd like.
**Per info on the ND website: ............"back in those hazy hardscrabble mythological early years of the University of Notre Dame du Lac, the Brothers of Holy Cross made bricks. A little more mundane than bourbon fudge, yes, but in the thaw of 1843, when Father Edward Sorin and company made their first passes around the lakes and contemplated the muck they’d scrape from their boots, the God-given qualities of the earth around them were precisely the point. Once described as a “white, putty-like substance,” the muck of St. Mary’s Lake was marl, a form of loose clay rich in calcium carbonate that someone — the histories credit Sorin, but the histories credit him with pretty much everything — recognized as ideal for making both bricks and the lime for the mortar that would hold them together. The soil along the lakeshore was providentially thick with it. Really, it’s hard to imagine a better unexpected find for an impoverished troupe of hustling university builders.
It’s also hard to imagine a single ingredient more determinative of Notre Dame’s unique beauty. Over the next 30 years or so, the brothers and their teams of hired workmen who lived in shanties along the shore of St. Mary’s Lake produced millions of units of a distinctive yellow-buff construction material known as “Notre Dame brick,” excavating the marl from the lakes and the creek that drained them into the St. Joseph River by hand, pick and shovel. They’d slop it into simple wooden forms, leave it to dry and then kiln it for days at temperatures that reached 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. With it they built Sacred Heart Church and the Presbytery, Brownson, Washington, St. Ed's, Science (now LaFortune), Sorin, Crowley, Corby, Badin and Riley halls, a respectable share of the Dome and a brickpile of buildings that no longer exist, and whenever the University tore one down or accidentally burnt it to the ground, they’d salvage what they could and reuse it. Like that one time after the Main Building fire.
The work was punishing and messy and the business difficult to manage. Father Basil Moreau railed against it during his visit from France as Superior General in 1857, but how does one forbid work that, as a centennial history puts it, “at times” made “the difference between eating and not eating”? Sorin himself wrote in 1860 that lime and brick making at the school were “a surer source of existence than the number of its pupils.”
As the University grew, so did the little trading-post town about two miles away, a ready market for the surplus brick that was fortified by the university’s orderly French comeliness. South Benders bought Notre Dame brick to build their homes, schools, sidewalks, factories and breweries. In time, the brothers leased out the business to John McCabe, a graduate of Notre Dame’s Manual Labor School, and another local man, striking a deal to buy back their product as needed on a modest discount at $6 per thousand. When the time finally came to seal up the marl pits for good in 1899, there was enough brick left over for the school to keep building with it for another two decades."