Westchester marble

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Federal Hall (1842) in Manhattan is constructed of Westchester marble

Westchester marble — or Inwood marble or Kingsbridge marble — originating in Westchester County, New York, USA, and surrounding counties, has long been quarried at Tuckahoe ("Tuckahoe marble"), Sing Sing, Hastings, and Thornwood. [1] It is part of the Inwood Formation of Late Cambrian to Early Ordovician date.[2]

Description and geology[edit]

Westchester marble is characterized scientifically as a dolomitic marble and varies in color from a light gray to light green to a bluish white or the brilliant white often found in the Tuckahoe quarries. A distinctive characteristic is the medium-to-coarse size of the calcite and dolomite particles that primarily compose the stone, which often contains minor amounts of hematite and pyrite. Oxidation of these iron-bearing minerals causes Westchester marble to turn orange-brown when the stone is exposed to weather.[3]

History[edit]

Tuckahoe Marble Quarries exhibit.

White Westchester marble supplied the early United States with a building material suitable for the neoclassic architecture so popular in the nation's early public buildings. Many federal buildings destroyed by the British during the War of 1812 were rebuilt with Westchester marble. The commercial marble industry first developed along the Bronx River. In 1818 the Tuckahoe Marble Quarry opened and eventually became a major producer of marble for the world. These local marble quarries were the main reason that the state government of New York chose Sing Sing as the site of a new prison in 1825.

From 1865 to 1871, hundreds of Scottish and Irish laborers blasted huge quantities of marble from the quarry at Hastings-on-Hudson. An inclined railroad carried it down to the quarry wharf on the Hudson River where it was dressed by skilled stonecutters and loaded onto ships bound for cities like New York City and Charleston, South Carolina. By the 1880s, Hastings Pavement was producing the paving blocks used extensively in Central Park and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Between 1895 and 1900, Hastings Pavement produced 10 million such blocks and shipped them throughout the U.S. and to cities in Canada, Brazil and England.

Buildings[edit]

Note: An asterisk (*) denotes "Tuckahoe marble" specifically.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ The greater Inwood marble formation stretches from northern Manhattan, the Bronx [e.g., Kingsbridge, Mott Haven, Melrose, Tremont], and Westchester County into western Connecticut.
  2. ^ Tuckahoe Marble
  3. ^ Diane S. Kaese and Michael F. Lynch (2008). "Marble in (and Around) the City Its Origins and Use in Historic New York Buildings". Common Bond 22 (2 (Autumn 2008)): 7. 

Further reading