Although brownstone facades
peaked in popularity during the Victorian
period, many over 100-yearold
brownstone buildings survive,
and eventually need repair.
Perhaps the best-known remaining
examples are the rows of townhouses
in New York, Boston, Philadelphia,
and Washington. But brownstone,
which is sandstone laced with iron,
came in other colors besides the reddish
brown most familiar in the east.
Sandstone used in the midwest is
often the lighter buff variety quarried
in Ohio, while in the west, especially
in Denver, rich red sandstones were
The softness of the stone, which
makes it easy to carve, also makes it
vulnerable to a variety of stresses,
including weather, one of the chief
causes of brownstone deterioration.
Some typical problems include:
• Cracking: Because it