I've written about the house my father built a number of times in various posts and described the bedding plane of Devonian limestone, which served as our basement floor and the integration of local limestone and sandstone into rock walls and our hearth. This past fall my parents decided to sell the house, not without difficulty of course - although I think it was harder for me since I associate so many life decisions with the geologic influences of the house and surrounding property. So I thought I would share a few photos of that house and the various 'geologic' features embedded in the property.
These are views of the front and back of the house, you can see just how many rocks went into the rock wall and the chimney. What is so impressive is that my father literally collected every rock by hand from the property and also while driving along the surrounding roads. Every now and then he would slam on the brakes and jump out to grab a 'prized' rock... how did I become a geologist again?
This is a view of the hearth my father built with rocks from the surrounding property; look for fossils they are in there! I was in a bit of a rush when taking all this photos, so I couldn't use the Gigapan, but you get the general gist of the incorporation of geology into the structure.
As I dream about building my own house, I envision using local Vermont slate for all the window sills and door thresholds and will likely tile the kitchen floor with mottled slate as well. While granite counter tops seem an obvious choice, we all know that most of what is sold as granite really isn't 'granite.' I'd prefer a diorite counter top from the Barton Mine in the nearby Adirondack Mountains; they sell a stone called "Garnet Gem" that contains large porphyblasts of garnet, it's magnificent. I've also dabbled with using sheets of muscovite for lampshades and think that they would work great for covering recessed lighting built into a stairwell for simple night lighting. Finally, for stairs I think it would be neat (although I haven't tested the durability) to make stair treads out of local wood and router out a 1/2" recess in the wood with 2" margins and then install marble treads in the wood. I think the juxtoposition of the light stone with a stained wooden tread would look great. All future projects...