Carmel stone is used extensively in Carmel. You will see it in many historic buildings like Harrison Memorial Library.
It is used in businesses such as Wittpenn’s Antiques
and in countless residences.
Once cheap and easy to find, it is sedimentary shale with lovely creamy yellow, rust, orange, and pink and caramel iron oxide striations.
It is typically softer and more porous than other types of building stone and much more likely to degrade with time and exposure to the elements. The Carmel Mission was one of the earliest local structures made from it more than 200 years ago.The Mission has undergone extensive stonework renovation. As you can see this porous quality provides opportunities for small plants to grow in the rock, further eroding it.
I read an article in The SF Gate about the stone and stonemason Michale Mahoney who learned to cut and build with Carmel Stone in the 1970s. Mahoney has been building with the stone since then. He is also a rock guitarist who studies manuals on Moorish arches and builds the chiseling hammers he uses to achieve his hand-hewn work. As a child, he was a bell ringer at the Mission where he watched Harry Downie do his work in restoring the Mission.
Below are some examples of Carmel Stone used in gates,
entry paths and steps,
This home on Scenic is a wonderful example.