Brownstone is a brown Triassic-Jurassic[1][2] sandstone which was once a popular building material. The term is also used in the United States to refer to a townhouse clad in this, or any of a number of aesthetically similar materials.

Four-storey brownstones in Harlem, just south of 125th Street. (2004)


Apostle Island brownstone

In the 19th century, Basswood Island, Wisconsin, was the site of a quarry run by the Bass Island Brownstone Company which operated from 1868 into the 1890s. The brownstone from this and other quarries in the Apostle Islands was in great demand, with brownstone from Basswood Island being used in the construction of the first Milwaukee County Courthouse in the 1860s.[3]

Hummelstown brownstone

Hummelstown brownstone is extremely popular along the East Coast of the United States, with numerous government buildings from the U.S. states of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and Delaware being faced entirely with the stone. The stone comes from the Hummelstown Quarry in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, a small town outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Hummelstown Quarry is the largest provider of brownstone on the east coast. Typically, the stone was transported out of Hummelstown through the Brownstone and Middletown Railroad or taken by truck up to the Erie Canal.

Portland brownstone

Portland brownstone, a.k.a. Connecticut River Brownstone, is also very popular. The stone from quarries located in Portland, Connecticut, and nearby localities were used in a number of landmark buildings in Chicago, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, New Haven, Hartford, Washington D.C., and Baltimore.

New Jersey brownstone

Old Queens, New Brunswick, NJ - looking north, 2014
Old Queens, (built from 1809–1823) at Rutgers University, was constructed from ashlar brownstone quarried in the area near New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Quarries from the Passaic Formation in northern New Jersey once supplied most of the brownstone used in New York City and in the state of New Jersey.[4]

South Wales brownstone

Devonian aged sandstone is commonly used in Southern Wales.

Use in urban private residences

There are many brownstones throughout numerous New York City neighborhoods, especially in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Park Slope, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Gowanus, Windsor Terrace, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Brooklyn Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant, and Sunset Park. Smaller concentrations exist in parts of Bay Ridge, Williamsburg, Bushwick, Greenpoint, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

Brownstones are also scattered throughout Manhattan from the Lower East Side to Washington Heights, with notable concentrations in the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Harlem and East Harlem. In Queens and The Bronx, the historic districts of Long Island City and Mott Haven also host many brownstones. Brownstones also predominate in some Hudson County neighborhoods directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan, especially in Hoboken[5] and around Van Vorst Park and Hamilton Park in Jersey City.[6] New York City brownstones usually cost several million dollars to purchase. A typical architectural detail of brownstones in and around New York City is the stoop, a steep staircase rising from the street to the entrance on what amounts to almost the second-floor level. This design was seen as hygienic at the time many were built, because the streets were so foul with animal waste.[7]

Lately, it has become fashionable to use the term "brownstone" to refer to almost any townhouse from a certain period, even though they may not have actually been built of brownstone. For example, many townhouses in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn are built of brick, but have concrete masonry cladding so they resemble actual stone. There are also many brick townhouses that have brownstone-built stoops throughout the outer boroughs. Such neighborhoods that consist of these homes are Borough Park, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Kensington, Flatbush, Midwood, East New York, Cypress Hills in Brooklyn, Ridgewood, Glendale, Astoria, Woodhaven in Queens, and Longwood and Morrisania in the Bronx.

The Rittenhouse Square and Fairmount neighborhoods of Philadelphia also include examples of brownstone architecture. Many of these homes have been converted into apartment buildings.

1022 Spruce Philly
The John Stewart Houses in Philadelphia

Back Bay, Boston, is known for its Victorian brownstone homes – considered some of the best-preserved examples of 19th-century urban design in the United States.[8]

Boston Back Bay brownstones
Brownstones in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston as seen from the Prudential Skywalk Observatory

Although some brownstones exist in Chicago, a similar residential form known as "greystones" is by far more prevalent. A greystone is a type of residential structure that utilizes Indiana limestone for its facade, regardless of its overall architectural style. As in Brooklyn, there exists a "Greystone Belt" in Chicago, with large numbers of such structures located in the south and northwest quadrants of the city. It is estimated that around 30,000 of Chicago's greystones built between 1890 and 1930 are still standing.[9]

Use in colonial country homes

Brownstone, also known as freestone due to its durability and advantages as a building material, was used by early Pennsylvanian Quakers to construct stone mills and mill houses. In central Pennsylvania, some 1700s-era structures survive, including one still used as a residence, known as the Quaker Mill House.

As a building material

Brownstone was deemed "not really much good as a building material" by Vincent Scully, professor emeritus of the history of art at Yale University.[10] Brownstone was popular because it is unusually easy to carve and quarry, but these qualities also made houses clad in it to be susceptible to weathering and damage over time.

See also


  1. ^ Muessig, Karl W. (2007). "Unearthing New Jersey" (PDF). New Jersey Geological Survey Newsletter. 3 (1): 1. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  2. ^ Garrison, Ervan G.; Herz, Norman (1998). Geological methods for archaeology. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 205. ISBN 9780198025115. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  3. ^ " Stone Quarries of the Apostle Islands".
  4. ^ "NJDEP-SEEDS-State Rock". 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
  5. ^ Walsh, Kevin (2003-09-20). "Meeting Across the River: Hoboken, NJ - Forgotten New York". Archived from the original on March 14, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  6. ^ "VAN VORST PARK, Jersey City - Forgotten New York".
  7. ^ Levine, DB (September 2007). "The Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled moves east on 42nd Street 1912-1925". HSS J. 3: 131–6. doi:10.1007/s11420-007-9051-6. PMC 2504267. PMID 18751783.
  8. ^ Jolly, Joanna (27 October 2014). "How Boston is rethinking its relationship with the sea". BBC Magazine. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  9. ^ "What is a Greystone? | Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago". Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  10. ^ Rozhon, Tracie. "Brownstone (the Real Thing) Comes Back". Retrieved 2018-10-18.

External links

Appetite for Democracy (Tour)

Appetite for Democracy was a series of concerts by hard rock band Guns N' Roses celebrating 25 years of Appetite for Destruction, and four years for their studio album Chinese Democracy. It started with a 12-night residency in Las Vegas. Their previous tour, Up Close and Personal, had ended in Spain on July 22, 2012. Former bassist Duff McKagan filled in for Tommy Stinson for several shows, Stinson had previous commitments to The Replacements. The tour ended with another residency in Vegas, titled "No Trickery! An Evening of Destruction!". The title of the show "No Trickery" was a play on jokes Axl Rose had made about Red Hot Chili Peppers being forced to pantomime their performance at the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show.

Appetite for Destruction Tour

The Appetite for Destruction Tour, by American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, promoted their debut album Appetite for Destruction, released in July 1987. During its 16-month duration, the band opened for bands The Cult, Mötley Crüe, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden and Aerosmith, and headlined shows across four continents.

"We started out as a hardcore band and we toured our fucking asses off," Slash recalled. "Next thing you know, we've turned into pop stars."It is the only tour in which the classic lineup of Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler performed together, aside from opening four shows in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for The Rolling Stones in October 1989.

Bass Island Brownstone Company Quarry

The Bass Island Brownstone Company Quarry, also known as the Basswood Island Quarry, on Basswood Island in Lake Superior was operational from 1868 to 1893. The brownstone was first used for construction of the second Milwaukee County Courthouse, now demolished. The quarry, now filled with water, is about 200 feet (61 m) long and about 25 feet (7.6 m) deep. Blocks of sandstone remain, together with the rusting remains of quarrying machinery. All company buildings and workers' cabins have disappeared.Other buildings built with the quarry's product include the old Chicago Tribune building, the Landmark Chapel at the Forest Home Cemetery and St. Paul's Episcopal Church, both in Milwaukee. The island and quarry are presently included in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and are administered by the National Park Service. The quarry was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 29, 1978.

Basswood Island

Basswood Island is a Wisconsin island in Lake Superior. It is one of the Apostle Islands and a part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

From 1865 to 1923, the island was home to a farm run by Richard McCloud and Elisha Brigham. It was also the site of a quarry run by the Bass Island Brownstone Company which operated from 1868 into the 1890s. The brownstone from this and other Apostle Islands quarries was in great demand, and brownstone from Basswood Island was used in the construction of the first Milwaukee County Courthouse in the 1860s. The quarry was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s.

Brownstone (group)

Brownstone was an American female contemporary R&B group that was popular during the mid-1990s. They are best known for their 1994 hit single "If You Love Me", which was nominated for a Best R&B Performance Grammy Award. "Grapevyne", "5 Miles to Empty" and "Pass the Lovin'" also brought them some success, as well as their rendition of "I Can't Tell You Why", a song originally recorded by The Eagles.

Brownstone Canyon Archaeological District

Brownstone Canyon Archaeological District comprises 2,920 acres (1,180 ha) and is located in the La Madre Mountain Wilderness Area which cover 47,180 acres (19,090 ha) in southern Nevada. The area is administered by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management and includes many petroglyphs.

Counterfeit for Murder

"Counterfeit for Murder" is a Nero Wolfe mystery novella by Rex Stout, first serialized as "The Counterfeiter's Knife" in three issues of The Saturday Evening Post (January 14, 21 and 28, 1961). It first appeared in book form in the short-story collection Homicide Trinity, published by the Viking Press in 1962.

An early draft of "Counterfeit for Murder" was posthumously published in the short-story collection Death Times Three (1985) under the title "Assault on a Brownstone".

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Irene Banks (née Mitchell; born February 10, 1974) is an American actress, director, and producer. She is known for her starring role as Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games film series (2012–2015) and as Gail Abernathy-McKadden in the Pitch Perfect film series (2012–2017). She made her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), whose $69 million opening-weekend gross set a record for a first-time director.Banks made her film debut in the low-budget independent film Surrender Dorothy (1998). She starred in the films Wet Hot American Summer (2001), Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (2002–2007), Seabiscuit (2003), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Slither (2006), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), Role Models (2008), The Next Three Days (2010), Man on a Ledge (2012), What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012), The Lego Movie (2014), Love & Mercy (2014), Magic Mike XXL (2015), and Power Rangers (2017).

On television, Banks had a recurring role as Avery Jessup on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, which garnered her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. She also had recurring roles on the comedy series Scrubs and Modern Family, the latter of which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. Banks starred in the Netflix miniseries Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (2015) and Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later (2017).

As of July 2018, Box Office Mojo ranked Banks as the 30th-highest-grossing actor of all time, and the ninth-highest-grossing female actor.

George W. Childs School

George W. Childs School is a historic school building located in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1893–1894, and is a three-story, three bay, brick building with brownstone trim in the Classical Revival-style. A three-story, nine bay yellow brick addition was built in 1928. It features a stone arched entrance, Palladian window, and copper cornice.It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. In 2010, the school was closed, and students were moved several blocks north to the former Barratt Junior High School building.

Germantown Grammar School

Germantown Grammar School, also known as Lafayette Grammar School and Opportunities Industrial Center, Inc., are two historic school buildings located in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Germantown Grammar School #1 was built in 1874–1875, and is a three-story, serpentine brownstone building in a combined Italianate / Gothic-style. It has a two-story addition dated to the 1980s. It features dressed brownstone trim; a projecting, pedimented front section; and projecting cross-gables. Germantown Grammar School #2 was built in 1886-1887, and is a two-story, four bay by nine bay, brick building faced in Wissahickon schist in a vernacular Italianate-style.It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. A boundary increase occurred in 2006.

I Can't Tell You Why

"I Can't Tell You Why" is a song by the American rock band Eagles which appeared on their 1979 album The Long Run. The song was written by band members Timothy B. Schmit, Glenn Frey, and Don Henley. Recorded in March 1978, it was the first song finished for the album and the first Eagles song to feature Schmit on lead vocals. The studio version became a Billboard Top 10 hit in April 1980, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It is their last Top Ten hit on the Hot 100.

Mr. Brownstone

"Mr. Brownstone" is a song by the American rock band Guns N' Roses, featured on their debut studio album, Appetite for Destruction (1987). Group guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin wrote the tune while they were sitting around Stradlin's apartment complaining about being heroin addicts. They began by improvising lyrics and music ("Brownstone" is a slang term for heroin).

New Rochelle Trust Building

New Rochelle Trust Company Building is a historic building located in the city of New Rochelle in Westchester County, New York. The building is significant in its association with banking, as the work of architect F. C. Merry, and as an important part of the overall streetscape of the Main Street business district.The New Rochelle Trust Company began on Central Avenue in 1888 as the 'Bank of New Rochelle' and moved to the 542 Main Street site in 1893. When the firm first opened its doors, during the heyday of private banks in the days prior to national banking laws, it was the only public banking facility in the area. Architecture critic Montgomery Schuyler, writing in ‘’The Architectural Record’’ in 1909, described the building as a “spoiled piece of architecture” claiming that the addition of the upper stories was an adventure in commercialism which resulted in “about the most depressing erection on Main Street of New Rochelle”. Others differed in their opinion, noting that the building was completely fireproof, and was remodeled using quality materials such as brownstone, marble and Roman Brick on the exterior and marble and bronze on the interior.The building reflects two distinct periods of construction; the original two-story building dates from the 1880s and is four bays in width, and built in brownstone with a curvilinear foliated Sullivanesque ornament. The 1908 remodeling of the building resulted in the creation of a new entrance bay made from brownstone, as well as the construction of two additional stories of office space faced in buff-colored brick. The resulting upper facade of the building is three bays in width, capped by a cornice beneath a parapet gable with a shallow pediment.In 2008, the Preservation League of New York State selected the New Rochelle Business Improvement District “Model Development Block” to receive its prestigious 'Excellence in Historic Preservation Award' in recognition of its superior restoration of a number of historic Main Street properties including the Trust Building. As part of the restoration, a large ornamental canopy which was not original to the building was removed to highlight the ornate brownstone work which had been hidden. The building was also once home to a glass company, and the ornamental stained glass window above the building’s entrance was also protected by the renovation.

Portland, Connecticut

Portland is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 8,732 at the 2000 census. The town center is listed as a census-designated place (CDP). It is situated across the Connecticut River from Middletown.

Brownstone quarried in Portland was used in the construction of Hartford's Old State House in 1796. The vast majority of the brownstone buildings in Connecticut (see College Row at Wesleyan University and the Long Walk at Trinity College) as well as the famous brownstones in New York City were built with brownstone from Portland's quarries.

About half of the town's perimeter is made up of the Connecticut River. The town has

eight marinas and boat clubs as well as three 18-hole golf courses.

Record labels owned by James Brown

Over the course of his career James Brown owned and operated several different record labels, which he used primarily to release his own productions of artists associated with his revue.

Scooby-Doo! and the Beach Beastie

Scooby-Doo! and the Beach Beastie is the sixth direct-to-DVD special produced by Warner Bros. Animation, based upon the Scooby-Doo Saturday morning cartoons. It was released on May 5, 2015, on the Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Surf's Up Scooby-Doo DVD.

Seung-Hui Cho

Seung-Hui Cho (조승희 in Korean, properly Cho Seung-Hui; January 18, 1984 – April 16, 2007) was a South Korean-born spree killer and mass murderer who killed 32 people and wounded 17 others armed with two semi-automatic pistols on April 16, 2007, at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. An additional six people were injured jumping from windows to escape. Cho was a senior-level undergraduate student at the university. The shooting rampage came to be known as the Virginia Tech shooting. Cho committed suicide after police breached the doors of the building where most of the shooting had taken place. His body is buried in Fairfax, Virginia.

Born in South Korea, Cho immigrated to the United States at the age of eight with his family. He became a U.S. permanent resident as a South Korean national.

In middle school, he was diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder with selective mutism, as well as major depressive disorder. After his diagnosis, he began receiving treatment and continued to receive therapy and special education support until his junior year of high school. During Cho's last two years at Virginia Tech, several instances of his abnormal behavior, as well as plays and other writings he submitted containing references to violence, caused concern among teachers and classmates.

In the aftermath of the shootings, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine convened a panel consisting of various officials and experts to investigate and examine the response and handling of issues related to the shootings. The panel released its final report in August 2007, devoting more than 30 pages to detailing Cho's troubled history. In the report, the panel criticized the failure of the educators and mental health professionals who came into contact with Cho during his college years to notice his deteriorating condition and help him. The panel also criticized misinterpretations of privacy laws and gaps in Virginia's mental health system and gun laws. In addition, the panel faulted Virginia Tech administrators in particular for failing to take immediate action after the first shootings. Nevertheless, the report did acknowledge that Cho must still be held primarily responsible for not seeking assistance.

Stay Here

Stay Here is an American reality television series on Netflix that focuses on home improvements. The show's first season of 8 episodes was released on Netflix on August 17, 2018. It features Genevieve Gorder, an interior designer, and Peter Lorimer, a real estate broker, transforming homeowners' short-term rental homes into moneymakers across the United States. Episodes include a houseboat in Seattle, Washington, a brownstone in Brooklyn, New York, and a firehouse in Washington, D.C.

Up Close and Personal Tour (Guns N' Roses)

Up Close and Personal Tour was a 2012 North American and European concert tour by hard rock band Guns N' Roses.

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