Thursday, January 23, 2020

Structure and History of Cobblestone Houses :: Engineering Construction Essays

Structure and History of Cobblestone Houses The cobblestone house is one of the most identifiable structures in Western New York. These houses date back to the early 1800’s when many of the towns that people in the Rochester area live in were being founded. When driving down many of the streets you can find these houses scattered on the left and the right. They are marvelous to look at and are also strange because they are some of the only houses in the area to be built out of stones, not lumber. These houses were in all probability made at first by someone who was too poor to pay for brick, or afford some kind of more expensive siding. Rocks are easily found and also insulate fairly well. These rocks were lined where the siding of the house would be and mortar was used to set the rocks into the house. Once the mortar set, it could not be broken easily. The mortar resembles what today would be concrete. It is very solid and nothing will penetrate. This makes it a clear favorite for the houses in New York due to the harsh winters. In Rochester particularly you need the extra protection. The winters in New York are the worst any where in the country where the average snowfall a winter is well over one hundred inches of snow. This allows for the insulated rocks to keep a more constant temperature than the lumber alternative which would allow much more heat to escape the house and cool it down. Conversely in the summers, where it is extremely warm the rocks allow a ki nd of air conditioning due to their relative lack of conductivity of heat. Cobblestone houses became extremely popular around the 1830’s in particular. This era marked a forever changing point in the history of both the United States and New York. The Erie Canal, a waterway connecting the Hudson River to the Great Lakes was being constructed. Right in the middle of it all was the metropolitan area around Rochester. It seems like every rock that was dug out of the ground during the excavation of the Erie Canal was used in a Cobblestone house.

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