I'm looking at a church built in 1922. The exterior walls are 3 wythes of unreinforced brick. Near the top of the front gable is a 36" diameter circular window. There is a perfectly horizontal crack in the grout at the CL of the small window extending the entire width of the gable at that location. There is no other sign of significant cracking in the brick in this wall. My first guess at the cause would be wind loading (very low seismic area). The dead load up there isn't big and the tensile stress (fatigue?) in the mortar from out of plane bending is the cause. Anybody care to offer an opinion?
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