The mystery of cobblestone construction
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the mystery surrounding the construction technique of cobblestone buildings in New York State. Built between 1825 and 1860, cobblestone structures possess a vernacular quality that stems from resourceful farmers using an abundant supply of glacial cobblestone collected from fields and streams as a building material. This exploration will focus on the unusual cobble and mortar profiles that makes cobblestone architecture distinct. Despite this unusual vernacular construction there has been surprisingly little academic attention paid to cobblestone buildings. There are few books or academic papers published on cobblestone buildings and even fewer detailing the construction practice. This thesis will look to looking to books, historical photographs, period publications trace the development of cobblestone buildings as well as document its construction. Recent photographs of several cobblestone buildings in various states of preservation as well as contemporary reproductions will be considered in order to gain insight into the construction technique. It is hoped that this thesis will contribute to a better understanding of the early American cobblestone construction tradition.