I’m Looking for a Cool Rock

I’m Looking for a Cool Rock.

Most families’ homes don’t have walls and floors of stone. But public buildings are designed to show strength and fortitude so many are built with exteriors of beautiful stone. Take a field trip to public buildings, especially those built in the early 1900s. Banks, post offices, libraries, and utility companies from that era were built covered in beauty. The architecture, everything from the sculptured facades to the windows, incorporates beautiful displays of art and stone. Below are photos of the old Cincinnati Bell Telephone Building with lovely granite and semiprecious stones. The windows have grates made of bronze with art deco flowers integrated in the grate design. Some of these flowers are of beautiful blue lapis gemstone.

Or, think about this. You are looking for big pieces of marble, granite, onyx, agate, or soapstone. Where would you go to find big slabs of natural stone? It’s time to visit the building supply stores and granite countertop fabricators. They have huge warehouses of stone. (They may restrict small children from the warehouse as a safety precaution, so you might want to check beforehand.) The fabricators may also have small chips or samples that can go home for your child’s mineral collection.

I love how the large slabs really show off the flow of the minerals that created the granite.

When my youngest daughter was about eight, she wanted to make a map showing minerals from every state. Whoa! A fifty-state field trip wasn’t in the cards, so I looked for a local mineral society or rock hound group. We found a kind, older gentleman with a basement and garage full of rocks. He loved talking about the rocks, where he found them, and how he polished and mounted them in jewelry. We spent two afternoons with him, and I don’t know who had the most fun. (It might have been his wife who made banana bread for us.) I know we had a heyday gathering rocks and left with boxes of rocks. My daughter filled her map for all fifty states.

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