North-Central Section - 42nd Annual Meeting (24–25 April 2008)
Paper No. 20-2
Presentation Time: 8:20 AM-8:40 AM

THE BOWLING GREEN OOLITE, AN IMPORTANT BUILDING STONE OF THE LATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURIES

MAY, Michael T. and KUEHN, Kenneth W., Geography & Geology, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd, Bowling Green, KY 42101, michael.may@wku.edu

Indiana Limestone or ‘Bedford Stone' (Salem Formation, Valmeyeran, Mississippian) is the best known dimension limestone in the United States because of the prodigious use of this homogeneous, easily carved material over the past 140 years. Less well known is the Bowling Green (Kentucky) ‘White Stone' or ‘Oolite' (Girkin Limestone, Chesterian, Mississippian) which was an important competitor for its Indiana counterpart particularly from the 1870s through the 1920s. Many people today who observe limestone used in buildings constructed throughout the lower Midwest during this period may incorrectly assume that the delicate carvings, trim, veneer, or structural blocks are the Indiana Limestone but much of this material actually originated from quarries of Warren County, Kentucky.

The famous White Stone Quarry and others nearby provided dimension stone to growing communities via river boat and rail. Some was shipped as large blocks to regional mills such as those at Evansville, Indiana, for finishing. By the early 1900s, the Bowling Green White Stone had garnered a national reputation including such accolades as a gold medal at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and the highest award at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis World's Fair) in 1904.

A great number of architecturally significant buildings were constructed entirely or partially with the White Stone including cathedrals and churches (St. Thomas Cathedral, New York City), government buildings (Governor's Mansion, Frankfort, KY), customs houses (Nashville, TN), banks (Ohio Valley Bank, Henderson, KY), university buildings (Western Kentucky University), and elite residences from New York to Florida and west to the Mississippi Valley. Local examples will be emphasized here, many of which are visible within a short distance of the GSA convention site in the greater Evansville area and adjacent areas of Kentucky.

North-Central Section - 42nd Annual Meeting (24–25 April 2008)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 20
Cultural Geology: Building Stones, Historic Cement and Mortar, and Archaeological Materials
Casino Aztar Conference Center: Walnut E
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Friday, 25 April 2008

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 40, No. 5, p. 31

© Copyright 2008 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.