Building stones of the National Mall
Richard A. Livingston, Carol A. Grissom, Emily M. Aloiz, 2015. "Building stones of the National Mall", Tripping from the Fall Line: Field Excursions for the GSA Annual Meeting, Baltimore, 2015, David K. Brezinski, Jeffrey P. Halka, Richard A. Ortt, Jr.
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This guide accompanies a walking tour of sites where masonry was employed on or near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It begins with an overview of the geological setting of the city and development of the Mall. Each federal monument or building on the tour is briefly described, followed by information about its exterior stonework. The focus is on masonry buildings of the Smithsonian Institution, which date from 1847 with the inception of construction for the Smithsonian Castle and continue up to completion of the National Museum of the American Indian in 2004. The building stones on the tour are representative of the development of the American dimension stone industry with respect to geology, quarrying techniques, and style over more than two centuries. Details are provided for locally quarried stones used for the earliest buildings in the capital, including Aquia Creek sandstone (U.S. Capitol and Patent Office Building), Seneca Red sandstone (Smithsonian Castle), Cockeysville Marble (Washington Monument), and Piedmont bedrock (lockkeeper’s house). Following improvement in the transportation system, buildings and monuments were constructed with stones from other regions, including Shelburne Marble from Vermont, Salem Limestone from Indiana, Holston Limestone from Tennessee, Kasota stone from Minnesota, and a variety of granites from several states. Topics covered include geological origins, architectural design considerations, weathering problems, and conservation issues.
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Prepared in conjunction with the 2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, this volume contains guides to field trips in this historic region. Emanating from the Fall Line city of Baltimore, these trips reflect the diversity of geological features in the mid-Atlantic region including the Piedmont, Appalachian Mountains, and Coastal Plain, and the importance of geology on the development and construction of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Trips to the core of the Appalachian orogen concern themselves with the tectonic and metamorphic history, early Paleozoic carbonate platform development, Devonian paleoclimate, and coal-mine fire hazards. Excursions to the Coastal Plain examine various aspects of Cenozoic stratigraphy, structure, barrier island formation, and wetland and ecosystem development. A variety of trips also explore urban geology, including building and monument stones of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., urban hydrogeology, and Civil War battlefield geology.