Quoins

Quoins

Quoins are large rectangular stones used as cornerstones in traditional stone buildings.  They provide structural support for buildings, particularly where rubble or fieldstone is used for the rest of the stonework. They also became an important aesthetic element in...
What Makes Red Sandstone Red?

What Makes Red Sandstone Red?

Red sandstones have been quarried as building stones for centuries on all continents except Antarctica. An example in the U.S. is the Smithsonian Castle (left), in Washington D.C., which was constructed from “Seneca Red” sandstone. In the mid-19th century, this...
Montana’s Homestead-Era Stone Buildings

Montana’s Homestead-Era Stone Buildings

Scattered across the plains of central Montana are the remnants of countless homestead-era stone buildings built in the late-19th and early-20th centuries by long-forgotten European immigrants. Some are mostly standing while others are little more than the...
Lord Elgin and the Parthenon Marbles

Lord Elgin and the Parthenon Marbles

In 1799 a Scottish nobleman named Robert Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, was appointed as the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople. While serving as ambassador, Lord Elgin managed to obtain some of the most important marble scultpures from the...
Historic English Limestones

Historic English Limestones

Some of the most historically important building stones come from a group of limestone layers deposited during the latter part of the Jurassic period (145 – 200 million years ago) in what is now central England.  These Jurassic limestones crop out in a narrow...