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brownstone, red to brown variety of sandstone. Its unusual color is caused in some instances by the presence of red iron oxide which acts as a cement, binding the sand grains together. Vast thicknesses (up to 20,000 ft/6,096 m) of brownstone were deposited in the present-day Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts and Connecticut and in central New Jersey during the latter part of the Triassic period. Quarries in these regions were the source for much of the building stone used in the late 19th and early 20th cent. in the construction of the many brownstone houses found from Baltimore to Boston; the stone, however, is not very durable, especially if poorly laid or maintained. Similar, but more brightly colored, sandstones also were deposited in the Rocky Mt. region during the Triassic period and Jurassic period. These deposits are called “redbeds” and make up the colorful landscapes of the Painted Desert of Arizona.
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A dark brown or reddish-brown sandstone, used extensively for building in the United States during the middle and late 19th century. See also: Stone
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Ferruginous sandstone with its grains coated with iron oxide.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. A dark brown or reddish brown arkosic sandstone, quarried and used extensively for building in the eastern US during the middle and late nineteenth cent.
2. A dwelling faced with brownstone, often a row house.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.