It’s going to be a nice day here in Northern New York, which is always good when exploring towns and villages in the area. This post is a beginning of a series called, “What is this jargon?!”
I’ve read a few guides on how to write about preservation for the general public and most of them say not to use jargon. AKA: the terms that people with preservation degrees use on a daily basis.
I think it’s important that people always continue learning throughout their life. I have a lot of education in history and preservation, so what better way to help people learn about the built environment in their own neighborhoods than by sharing my knowledge and using actual examples I see on my own adventures. Plus, pointing out random architectural features that you learn about, to your friends and family, educates them and makes yourself sound really smart, which is a win-win for all!
So let’s learn about preservation jargon, one word at a time, to make it not jargon.
Check out quoins, pronounced like “coins,” but they’re not the same thing.
Quoins are either blocks of stone, wood imitation stone, cast-iron panels, or brick that are located at the corners of buildings. Typically, quoins are arranged in alternating patterns of large and small blocks. They are a decorative detail seen on a variety of architectural styles including: Federal, Italianate, Colonial Revival, Beaux Arts, Italian Renaissance, and Second Empire. Some day we’ll look at these types of architectural styles one at a time.
There are lots of examples of quoins in the area!
If you have seen any really cool building with quoins as a decorative feature share its location in the comments. On that note, if you have seen something interesting on your adventures and you don’t know what it is, send me a message and we can figure it out!