Book Review: Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology by David B. Williams | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

REAL SCIENCE. REAL NEWS.

Help us keep you informed.

Support Science News.


Reviews & Previews

Book Review: Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology by David B. Williams

Review by Sid Perkins

By
12:14pm, September 11, 2009

Cities may seem like the most artificial places on Earth, yet a close look at massive buildings can reveal troves of natural geological glory. In chapter after fascinating chapter of Stories in Stone, Williams, a geologist, deftly describes the mineralogy and history of some of the world’s most common building materials.

The porosity of marble often renders the stone useless for architecture in cold climates, for example, but many of the world’s most recognizable edifices — including the Parthenon and the Taj Mahal — are made of this luxurious material. Marble’s luminosity contrasts sharply with the chocolate color of brownstone, a sandstone derided by one critic as “the most hideous stone ever quarried.” Still, the material was fashionable: In 1880

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content