Five building stones native to Flagstaff

Five building stones native to Flagstaff

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The wonders of Moenkopi sandstone were well-known to the ancients, such as the Sinagua who, from about A.D. 1100 to 1225, used the stone to construct their villages at Wupatki National Monument northeast of town.

Jackson said there are five different building stones, all native to Flagstaff: Moenkopi sandstone, Malpais basalt, Kaibab limestone, pumiceous dacite and olivine basalt lava.

"You can see how early inhabitants of Flagstaff took those rocks and see how they fashioned them into special architectural styles," Marie Jackson said. "It's very unique that all that rock came from within the city limits. Many cities have stone buildings and most of that stone was imported in from elsewhere. All these stones came from Flagstaff."

The Arizona Sandstone Co. quarry lasted through the 1940s, operating intermittently to produce stone for many buildings, particular on the campus of NAU.

Jackson, who has a doctorate in earth sciences, said the Flagstaff schools have a program to teach third-graders about the geology of Flagstaff and its building stones, but adults don't always know the importance of historic buildings in Flagstaff.

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