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July 13, 2009

Seattle Author Reveals the Stories Hidden in Building Stones

Lecture and Book Signing with David B. Williams
Author of Stories in Stone: Travels through Urban Geology
Wed., July 29, 7 pm

Seattle author David B. Williams will present slides and discuss his newest book, Stories in Stone: Travels through Urban Geology, at a free lecture on Wed., July 29 at 7 pm at the Burke Museum. Come learn about the evidence of our planet's natural wonders hidden within urban architecture!

Williams' book instructs readers on how to recognize building stones that are far less ordinary than they might at first appear. In Stories in Stone, Williams introduces us to a 1935 gas station made of petrified wood and a fort in St. Augustine, Florida that has withstood three hundred years of attacks and hurricanes, despite being made of a stone (coquina) that has the consistency of a granola bar. He finds geological evidence in the stone masonry, facades, and ornamentations of buildings. Combining this evidence with historical research, Williams reveals the hidden stories of stone such as why a white, fossil-rich limestone from Indiana became the only building stone to be used in all fifty states.

The Seattle Times calls Stories in Stone an interesting work of nonfiction that Williams has chiseled "out of a heap of rocks. Just as sculptors speak of their art in terms of releasing the spirit from the stone, Williams teases ancient and fascinating stories out of buildings both grand and humble that dot the American landscape."

Williams will be available to sign copies of his book after the lecture. Admission to this event is free.

The Burke Museum has recorded a podcast, Stories in Stone with David Williams, which is available online at http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/interactive/podcast.php and which may be shared on other Web sites.

(206) 543-9762; FAX (206) 616-1274

Stories in Stone book cover
Stories in Stone book cover
David B. Williams