Comment 68422

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 25, 2011 at 09:38:06

I certainly would love to see more stone buildings, but the first question is: how much stone do we have? It isn't just the cost of the labour - think about what would happen to the price if even 1% of Hamilton got a fancy new stone house. I suppose the follow-up question would be: how much of the limestone which currently gets baked into cement is in large enough chunks and decent enough quality to use as building material straight.

The advent of concrete has been the great antagonist here. Why bother with masonry when you can cast limestone on site? Strange, now that we have jackhammers, concrete-saws and cranes on trucks, that stone building is no more possible than when we used mostly hammers, chisels and muscles. It says a lot about the way our technologies evolved. As industries developed, de-skilling the old workers was the main job of new machines - especially when the field had previously been dominated by powerful, organized blocs of workers like the masons.

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