its trimmings are of white stone

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New Member
"Let it become downright black, and it is still sightly , especially if its trimmings are of white stone,
with soot in the depths and the high spots washed by the rain. "

This sentence is from The Libido for the Ugly,written by H. L. Mencken.
Here the writer sneered the choice of color for the buildings in Pittsburgh.
What confuse me is that the word"trimmings".What does it mean exactly here?
And what kind of brick has "depth" and "high spot"?
I thought that all the bricks are cuboid...

  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello WangJin,

    Trimmings must mean the stone decoration up the corners of the buildings and to mark the cornices and pediments.

    It's not the bricks which have depth and high spots but the whole buildings, and particularly the stone decorations: soot gets into the joints, making them black, and the rain washes the stone, making it white.

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Remember that Menken died in 1956 and Pittsburgh's buildings were more conventional then.

    The modern buildings in Pittsburgh don't go in much for stone decorations, or pediments, or cornices.
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