Cobblestone architecture

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The Cobblestone Schoolhouse is part of the Cobblestone Historic District, in the hamlet of Childs, New York. CobblestoneSchoolhouse HABS 1 cropped.jpg
The Cobblestone Schoolhouse is part of the Cobblestone Historic District, in the hamlet of Childs, New York.

Cobblestone architecture refers to the use of cobblestones embedded in mortar as method for erecting walls on houses and commercial buildings. It was frequently used in the northeastern United States and upper Midwest in the early 19th century; the greatest concentration of surviving cobblestone buildings is in New York State, generally near the historic Erie Canal or connecting canals.

Contents

History

Evidence of the use of cobblestones in building has been found in the ruins of Hierakonpolis in Egypt. Houses were built of mud brick set on cobblestone foundations. Cobblestone architecture may have been used on a monumental scale to erect public administrative centers or palaces. Those structures have since collapsed into mounds of stone. [1]

Cobbles, mostly flint, became a common building material from the Middle Ages onwards in England and a few parts of Northern Europe where they are easily found; this is usually known as "flint architecture" in England. Flushwork is a term for decorative patterns in flint and stone, usually including split stones for contrasting colour on the outer surface of the wall, while the unseen core consists of unsplit cobbles. Other areas have unsplit cobbles on the outside of the wall, sometimes carefully graded and arranged for a decorative effect. [2]

Cobblestone architecture was used in the northeastern United States, especially antebellum western New York state. Masons who built the Erie Canal during 1817-1825 started building cobblestone structures about the time the canal was finished. The stones used in the construction were typically of a rounded shape; they had been deposited in the area by glaciers, and cleared from the fields by early farmers, or brought from the shores of Lake Ontario. [3] [4] Migrants from New York carried the style west to Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. [4] [5] Historians estimate that at least 75 percent, and possibly more than 90 percent, of American cobblestone buildings can be found within 7075 miles of Rochester, New York. [4] [6] The style was prominent between 1835 and about 1860; around 900 cobblestone buildings were constructed in New York state before the American Civil War. [4] After the war, construction slowed; there were only two post-Civil War cobblestone structures known by author Noble. [7] About 700 cobblestone homes remain in the Rochester area. [6]

The Town Hall in Westport, Connecticut, built in 1908, is unusual for including a cobblestone exterior surface within a Classical Revival style design. [8]

Paris Plains Church, Paris, Ontario, 1845, cobblestone architecture Paris Plains Church, 1845, cobblestone architecture.jpg
Paris Plains Church, Paris, Ontario, 1845, cobblestone architecture

Paris, Ontario is referred to as "the cobblestone capital of Canada" due to a significant number of cobblestone buildings. [9] This mode of construction was introduced to the community when Levi Boughton (d.1895), a New York mason, arrived in 1838.

Construction method and style

The ruins of the medieval Thetford Priory in England show flint cobbles and mortar through the whole depth of the wall 2004 thetford 03.JPG
The ruins of the medieval Thetford Priory in England show flint cobbles and mortar through the whole depth of the wall

In true cobblestone architecture, the whole wall consists of rows of cobblestones embedded in a lime mortar. The exterior surface may be carefully constructed for decorative effect, with cobbles matched in size and color. [7] In Wisconsin most cobblestone buildings seem to have only the exterior surfaces made of cobblestone, as a decorative finish over a rubble core. [5]

English medieval walls often contain a mixture of cobbles, rubble and re-used brick, though the picture from Thetford shows almost exclusively cobbles. Some cobblestone architecture shows consistent matching in the size of the stones used, shape, and color. [5] This method of construction has been referred to as a form of folk art. [10] Cobblestone architecture is featured in many houses and farmhouses but also in churches, stores and town halls. [10]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Jackson Blood Cobblestone House United States historic place

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William Huffman Cobblestone House United States historic place

William Huffman Cobblestone House is a historic home located at Phelps in Ontario County, New York. It was constructed in 1845 and is a distinct example of the late Federal / early Greek Revival style, cobblestone domestic architecture. The house consists of a two-story, three bay main block with a one-story side ell. The exterior walls are built of evenly shaped and colored field cobbles. It is one of approximately 101 cobblestone buildings in Ontario County and 26 in the village and town of Phelps. Also on the property is a late 19th-century barn.

Harmon Cobblestone Farmhouse and Cobblestone Smokehouse United States historic place

Harmon Cobblestone Farmhouse and Cobblestone Smokehouse is a historic home located at Phelps in Ontario County, New York. The farmhouse was constructed in 1842 and is an example of vernacular Greek Revival style, cobblestone domestic architecture. The house consists of a 2-story, three-bay side-hall main block with a ​1 12-story north wing and 1-story east wing. The exterior walls are built primarily of small, red, oval, lake washed cobbles. Also on the property is a smokehouse built of both red, lake washed cobbles and irregular field cobbles. They are among the approximately 101 cobblestone buildings in Ontario County and 26 in the village and town of Phelps.

Rippey Cobblestone Farmhouse United States historic place

Rippey Cobblestone Farmhouse is a historic home located at Phelps in Ontario County, New York. It was constructed in 1854 and is an example of a Greek Revival / Italianate style, cobblestone domestic architecture. The house consists of a two-story main block with a one-story side wing and is one of the most elaborate, finely crafted cobblestone residences in the Finger Lakes region. The exterior walls are built primarily of small, red, oval, lake washed cobbles. It is among the approximately 101 cobblestone buildings in Ontario County and nine in the town of Seneca.

Tinker Cobblestone Farmstead United States historic place

Tinker Cobblestone Farmstead, also known as the Tinker Homestead and Farm Museum, is a historic home located at Henrietta in Monroe County, New York. It is a Federal style cobblestone farmhouse built between 1828 and 1830. It is constructed of medium-sized field cobbles and is one of 13 surviving cobblestone buildings in Henrietta.

Charles Bullis House United States historic place

Charles Bullis House is a historic home located at Macedon in Wayne County, New York. The Federal style, cobblestone house consists of a 2-story main block with a ​1 12-story frame wing. It was built about 1839 and is constructed of irregular, rough, moderate sized cobbles. The house is among the approximately 170 surviving cobblestone buildings in Wayne County.

Franklyn Hazelo House United States historic place

The Franklyn Hazelo House is a Greek Revival-styled house clad in cobblestones that was built in 1858 in Burlington, Wisconsin, United States. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Herrick Cobblestone United States historic place

The Herrick Cobblestone is a historic cobblestone residence in Rockford, Illinois. It may be the oldest house in Rockford.

Samuel S. Jones Cobblestone House United States historic place

The Samuel S. Jones Cobblestone House is a large Greek Revival-styled farmhouse built in Clinton, Wisconsin in the late 1840s. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and on the State Register of Historic Places in 1989.

References

  1. Ring, Trudy et al. International Dictionary of Historic Places: Middle East and Africa, (Google Books), Taylor & Francis, 1996, pp. 345-46, ( ISBN   1884964036).
  2. Stephen Hart, Flint Architecture of East Anglia, 2000, Giles de la Mare, ISBN   1-900357-18-6
  3. Nancy L. Todd (March 1992). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Cobblestone Architecture of New York State MPS". National Park Service . Retrieved 2009-12-27.
  4. 1 2 3 4 York, Michelle. "Cobblestone Houses That No Wolf Could Blow Down", The New York Times , March 16, 2008, accessed June 17, 2009.
  5. 1 2 3 "Cobblestone (architecture) - Definition", Dictionary of Wisconsin History, Wisconsin Historical Society , accessed 17 June 2009.
  6. 1 2 Chao, Mary (15 August 2009). "Her contribution to history". Democrat and Chronicle "Real Estate & Rental". Rochester, New York: Gannett Company. pp. 1, 10. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  7. 1 2 Noble, George Allen. Traditional Buildings: A Global Survey of Structural Forms and Cultural Functions, (Google Books), I.B.Tauris, 2007, pp. 97-99, ( ISBN   1845113055).
  8. David F. Ransom (November 28, 1980). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Town Hall / Old Town Hall". National Park Service. and Accompanying seven photos, exterior and interior, from 1980 (see photo key page 13 of text document)
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-22. Retrieved 2014-10-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. 1 2 Elam, Helen Vollmer. Henrietta, (Google Books), Arcadia Publishing, 2006, pp. 51-59, ( ISBN   0738549371).