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Sneak Peek: Brookline puddingstone

Our mid-century modern gets an updated perimeter wall

Following the wisdom that you should use local rock whenever possible, a perimeter wall at the Brookline mid-century-modern house was made of locally available Roxbury puddingstone when the house was built in the 1950s.

“You don’t want to carry rock any farther than necessary,” says TOH landscape contractor Roger Cook. Puddingstone is known for its distinctive coloring, texture, shape, and overall attractiveness; it’s a conglomerate made up of various types of pebble, cobble, quartz, and sandstone. Different types of puddingstone are found around the world, and the type found in the Boston area is called Roxbury puddingstone, named for the town about two miles from the Brookline project.

After the TOH renovation required going through the puddingstone wall to repair underground pipes, mason Mark McCullough was called in to put the wall back together. One challenge he faced was today’s limited supply of puddingstone, so McCullough worked to reuse the existing material. “This is a unique stone and it’s almost impossible to find today, so luckily we were able to rebuild the wall with the original puddingstone,” he says. “There’s nothing worse than having an obvious repair where the original material ended and new material was brought in.” Who said a wall can’t be put back together again?