Q is for Quoin

Quite the quintessential quoin, no?

A “quoin” is that usually-unnecessary decorative [ed.: and often structural; see comment below] stonework you see on the corner-edges of buildings. Did you know that? I didn’t. Now you can sound knowledgeable when you’re out with friends. You’ll be all “Oh hey, check out the quoining on that building!” and your friends will be like “wtf?” and you’ll explain, and they’ll be like “wow, you are so cool!” and you’ll be like “yeah, I know.” Try it! It works. Scout’s honor.

Otherwise, all I can tell you is that Madison’s Borough Hall was dedicated in 1935. I didn’t check the cornerstone (the actual cornerstone, not the quoining), but I’m guessing construction started sometime after 1930.

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2 Comments to “Q is for Quoin”

  1. “Usually unnecessary” depends on the context. With traditional load-bearing masonry construction, quoins are often the most significant aspect of the structure. And when structural and differentiated, they often reflect a higher grade of masonry building material (likely imported). Areas without sturdy masonry, such as East Anglia and parts of Ireland were forced to build round-in-plan structures to avoid their use. In fact, the continued use of quoins as ornament in historicist structures attest to this. If there were a quoin police, you’d have been issues a citation for your disrespectful demeanor to these deities of angular masonry walling.

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