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As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

House Parts We Love – Granite Steps, Granite Posts and More

The latest installment of House Parts We Love is all about granite – and I’m not talking about shiny granite counters – which I know many people, but not me, love. No, I’m talking about old granite – granite steps, granite hitching posts, granite foundations, even granite houses and buildings.

Vintage granite steps in Cambridge

Vintage granite steps in Cambridge

In the 1800s granite was quarried in many New England towns.  In Massachusetts, Rockport, Braintree, Quincy, Chelmsford, Tyngsborough, and Westford were among the towns with granite quarries. 

I wish I could remember the Massachusetts town I visited several years ago while showing real estate that had a wealth of granite house parts.  There was an inordinate amount of granite steps, walls, foundations, posts, curbs – everywhere I looked I saw granite.  It turned out that the town had a quarry many years ago and I think some of what I was seeing were houses and yards that had been embellished by quarry workers.

Many public or commercial buildings in Boston were built of granite including the Custom House, buildings at the Charlestown Navy Yard, and parts of Mass General Hospital.  For years, several granite houses along the main street in Marlborough, New Hampshire have been among my favorites.

Around Cambridge, Arlington and Somerville you can often spot old granite.  Older buildings, usually from the early 1800s, may have granite foundations.  In mid-Cambridge many of the houses have very beautiful granite steps like those pictured above. The slide show below includes an old granite post I spotted in Cambridgeport, and a wonderful granite and iron fence in Arlington Center. 

There’s something very appealing about old, weather worn granite.  Nowadays it’s possible to purchase reclaimed old granite to use for fence posts or entry steps or what have you. 

Here are photographs of my granite favorites from Cambridge and Arlington. Click on the triangle to view the photos:

Categories: Everything Else

  1. Jane D. Benjamin

    Hi there – I am working on a project that would involve a piece of granite to use as a base for a table with glass tabletop. (Height aprrox. 2.5 ft and approx.) Where would I find an old piece of granite that would fit the bill. In your article you said as follows: Nowadays it’s possible to purchase reclaimed old granite to use for fence posts or entry steps or what have you.”
    Any suggestions of where i would find what I am looking for would be greatly appreciated.
    Best rest regards-

  2. Elizabeth Bolton

    Hi Jane ~ What a fun project. I just love old granite – there’s nothing like it. One place to start actually is craigslist underf For Sale – Materials. For a while there were several companies advertising there as I remember. I just looked and one place in Saugus has several listings so would be worth contacting I would think.

    Here’s a place in Connecticut – Old Wood Workshop

    And here’s a local place Old New England Granite in Lynnfield

    Good luck with it!


  3. Mark

    Hi Antique/Historic Granite Lovers,

    My name is Mark from OldeNewEnglandGranite. Our small family business reclaims antique/historic outdoor granite to save them from crushing or landfill and to give them new life in landscape projects. It is also the “green” thing to do. We are having an open house at our granite farm on Oct 31st from 9:00am – 3:00pm. See main office web site thereedcorp.com.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on antique granite.

  4. Elizabeth Bolton

    Thanks for the info Mark. I love the sounds of the open house and hope to stop by (despite the difficulties for real estate agents of getting a Saturday off!). I admire old granite every time I spot it so I’ll bet your seeing your granite farm would be great fun – and spark ideas for all sorts of projects.

  5. StevieMK

    Hi, I just wanted to say I find your article quite inspiring. I own an 1870’s farmhouse in south/central Maine. The house has a granite
    step much like those you discribed…aged and weather worn…it also has some original features that I should think would make it quite desireable to some, an iron boot scraper on one end and an ancored cannonball horse hitch on the other. The house was a stagecoach inn at one time and sits right by the road which makes the step easily accessable for removal. My only problem is I dont know who to offer it to or for how much. I’m sure its worth quite a bit and I really need the funds to keep the house. I intend to put a wheelchair ramp and deck over it but if I could find a buyer first it would be really helpful. I just want to know what its worth in a ballpark before I offer it up because the last person …a granite salesman told me to make an offer and I didnt know what to say. I dont want to get taken for a ride with it, but I would like to invest it if I can back into the house payments and stay out of forclosure. Have you any suggestions?

  6. Mark

    Hi Steve in Maine,

    I might be interested in that step. Can you email picture and size dimentions too. Do you have a machine to load on truck?



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