Historic Architectural Elements – do they have a place in our homes today? Part III

May 12, 2008

This is the last post to examine the historical design elements that are the foundation of beautiful Savannah, Georgia and how these can be implemented in a home design of 2008.  The old cobblestone paths, that wind along the waterfront and throughout the historic housing district of Savannah, have stood the test of time.  These large well worn pebbles radiate character.  Women in heels, take pause, as they step carefully from stone to stone, just as they did at the turn of the century, so as not to turn an ankle. 

At a time when everyone is thinking and talking  “green” why not think “cobblestone”.  The use of this round stone in a more modern setting can be quite unique.  Think of setting these stones in a random ribbon winding through the grass from your front yard to the back.  Or, laying the cobbles in an irregular pattern into the asphalt of your new driveway to create the same effect as the earlier cobblestone road which was later paved over and, with time, as the pavement wore under the constant traffic, it revealed the original stones. 

Building with these stones was a folk art that flourished from 1825 until the Civil War, in western New York State.    There was an abundance of these stones because of the glacial deposits and lake wave action of prehistoric Lake Iroquois and Lake Ontario.  There are a few historic Cobblestone buildings that remain; most are private homes.  A few masons from New York migrated to the midwest and Ontario, Canada to construct cobblestone buildings.   There is a cluster of such buildings in the Town of Paris, Ontario.   

When viewed as an art form, we can see how these cobblestones could be used as a wall application or to reface a fireplace.   Again, I must say, that by using our design initiative, these historical architectural elements can live on in  harmony with modern architecture.




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