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The New September 11th Memorial in Greenwich, CT

September 11th Memorial in Greenwich, CT

Photo from September 11th Memorial Greenwich’s Facebook Page

You may have heard about the new September 11th Memorial constructed in the new Cos Cob Park overlooking Greenwich, CT’s Indian Harbor. Even if you weren’t aware of this beautiful new site, we encourage all to attend the Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony this Friday, September 11 at 9:00 am. You can find more information about the event and how to RSVP on the memorial’s Facebook page.

On that tragic day in 2001, 32 people with ties to Greenwich were killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers. Innocent lives were taken far too soon, and many were left to mourn those lives and miss them each day. This new memorial was resurrected in honor of those victims, with the goal of providing their families and communities a beautiful place to reflect and fondly remember their loved ones.

Honoring Local Heroes

The design, conceived by Charles Hilton Architects, features two glass towers etched with transparent American flags. In each stripe of the flag is the name of a local victim. The 12′ tall towers sit on stone pavement, which we at Petrillo Stone Corporation were honored to provide. Specifically, this stone is Cambrian Black Thermal Finished Granite, and you can see photos of it being installed below. The pavement is intended to look like the World Trade Center plaza and provides a connecting path through a wildflower meadow and tree screening to the circulating paths of the park. Meanwhile, the memorial itself remains quiet and secluded.

All of the funds for this project were raised privately by The Greenwich Community Projects Fund, Inc. For more information on the memorial, the park, and how to donate, please visit the Greenwich September 11th Memorial website. You can find some photos taken at the site during construction below.

The Battle Between Park and Memorial

Pershing ParkThe National Mall in Washington, DC is filled to the brim with monuments, statues, and memorials of all types. Pershing Park has officially been a part of these monuments since 1957, when it was named after John J. Pershing, General of the Armies in World War I. As different groups proposed competing memorial ideas for the space, it actually sat untouched and gathering garbage. The indecision continued until 1963, when officials planted grass and flowers to add new life to the square.

In that same year, a plan was proposed to redevelop the area between the White House and the United States Capitol. Although the original plan was altered, it did lead to the construction of Freedom Plaza, adjacent to Pershing Park. Both were constructed simultaneously from 1979 to 1981. The landscape at Pershing Park was designed by M. Paul Friedberg, recent recipient of the American Society of Landscape Architect’s highest honor, the ASLA Medal. The park contains a memorial to John J. Pershing, as well as several memorial benches and walls that describe his many accomplishments. In addition, Pershing Park contains many of Friedberg’s now signature design elements, such as a sunken plaza filled with water (frozen for ice skating in the winter) surrounded by amphitheater style seating, a waterfall made out of rock-cut granite, as well as plenty of greenery. Today, Pershing Park is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. However, recent plans may diminish its chances.

The Future of Pershing Park

In recent years, Pershing Park has been declining, with mechanical issues in the skating rink and adverse vegetation growth. In response to these maintenance issues, a competition has been announced for a World War I Memorial in the spot currently occupied by Pershing Park. What this means for Pershing Park is currently unclear — though many landscape architects are convinced the language of the competition leans toward demolition of the existing park rather than renovation. You can read more on this story from the Huffington Post.

The five finalists in the design competition were recently announced, you can find them here. We were impressed by the visions of these architects, even though it could potentially mean changing a piece of our history. What are your thoughts on the great Pershing Park/National World War 1 Memorial debate? We want to know!

Intricate Details in Indiana Limestone

Our fabrication plant located in Mount Vernon, NY contains thousands of stone slabs from all over the world and can handle any stone weighing up to 20 tons. We do our best to maintain the quality of work performed by our family when Petrillo Stone Corporation was founded in 1907 by using all types of tools from the newest computer driven CNC machines to 80 year-old stone planers and even hand chisels.

The gallery below shows the start of a huge piece of Indiana limestone for a project In Asbury Park NJ. The finished piece of stone is 122” long by 31 ½” deep by 19 ½” high , weighing approximately 8,000 pounds. You can see how ornate the detailing is, which is exactly the type of work Petrillo Stone Corp likes to do. The limestone has a medium sandblast finish to make it look weathered compared with the existing stone on the building.

To see more examples of our work, be sure to check out the gallery!

Petrillo Stone Corp Featured in Building Stone Magazine

1095 Avenue of Americas Lobby

Photo from Building Stone Magazine of the lobby at 1095 Avenue of Americas

At the corner of 42nd Street and 6th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan is the 1095 Avenue of Americas Plaza, a site that has quickly become a high traffic site in NYC. The plaza is essentially the front door for a commercial office building that serves as MetLife’s corporate headquarters. Because of the threat of wear caused by tons of foot traffic as well as some harsh weather, the design for this site had to be both durable and beautiful.

Building Stone Magazine recently documented this process in its Spring 2015 issue. In this project, Petrillo Stone Corporation was responsible for furnishing and installing the stone used for the building lobby, elevator lobbies, and concourse — a total of 7,400 square feet of material. The Santucci group supplied and fabricated the Joya White Carrara marble used for the walls and countertops, as well as the white terrazzo flooring. The stone is unique due to its white background with very thin gray veining. These light colors were used because the original entrance to the lobby was described as “tunnel-like,” and a white background gave it a more open feel.

The following is an excerpt from the article, “Meeting The Demands Of A Busy Northeastern Environment,” in which our very own Frank Petrillo describes the job.

As a whole, the installation process went smoothly, but Petrillo found difficulties with the lobby because the building remained in use. “The installation took place in an occupied building so we basically installed sections at a time so we didn’t disturb the tenants,” said Frank Petrillo of Petrillo Stone Corporation. “It’s a very busy building. There were certain areas, such as the elevators, that were done at night. This prevented us from interrupting the flow of traffic. We did the other areas during the day. We had to fence it off so that people could get by while we were working.”

You can see the whole article in Building Stone Magazine’s online publication on page 70. Below are some screen shots of the article which display the lobby.

Stone Mansion in Greenwich, CT

We’ve been keeping busy as usual at Petrillo Stone, and doing our best to keep you updated on as many projects as possible. When on a recent job site, we realized that it’s been a while since we shared photos of the actual building process as it can be more time consuming than typical construction. We hand chip and chisel every piece of stone until every inch looks just as it should.

Attached are pictures of a mansion that is under construction in Greenwich, CT. Petrillo Stone is supplying the cut-to-size sandstone for the project.  This job site requires thousands of cubic feet of cut Birmingham Buff sandstone. As you can see in the photos below, Birmingham Buff is a very classic, beige cut of sandstone. The stone is being fabricated out in Ohio.

The last is a picture of one of many window surrounds that we are supplying to a mansion in Greenwich Connecticut. This is Indiana select buff Limestone.

For more examples of our work, please visit our gallery.

Update on the New York Life Building Project

Indiana Limestone Sill for the New York Life Building

In a previous blog post, we shared some of the limestone gargoyles we provided to the New York Life Building as part of a restoration project. Basically, we created replicas of the existing gargoyles as replacements for some that were weathered and broken. However, our work for this national landmark building didn’t stop there.

We’ve also been hand carving replacement stones (lugged lintel stones) to sit above designated windows, as well as some window sills. The stones are Indiana limestone with a medium sandblast finish, carved in our very own Mount Vernon shop. The original pieces were fabricated in the 1920’s and have started to break and crack. You can find photos of this work below.

Original construction of the New York Life Building was completed in 1928, and the building was named a National Historic Landmark in 1972. In order to maintain its structure and beauty, renovations have recently become necessary. Due to our reputation in the industry and attention to detail, Petrillo Stone Corporation was hired to handle the job. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the progress we make and how things unfold. In the meantime, we’re honored for the opportunity to work on a piece of US history.

For photos from our gargoyle project, be sure to check out this blog post.

Petrillo Stone Fabricates Stone for the Home

Although we mostly share our commercial stone fabrication projects with our followers, we’ve captured some rare photos of custom stone fabricated for the Hogan House in Manhasset, NY. These custom pieces add a touch of elegance and individuality to the home.

The kitchen and bathroom counter tops are made from Imperial Danby Honed Marble. They look great with the gray and white color schemes of the different rooms. The fireplace surrounds are Flamed Finish Absolute Black Granite and Pietra Cardosa Stone. If you can’t tell from the photos, the fireplace is actually a see-through fireplace visible on both sides of the wall. All of these materials were fabricated in Petrillo Stone’s Stone Shop in Mount Vernon, NY.

Washington National Cathedral Completes First Round of Earthquake Renovations

Washington National CathedralIn 2011, the Washington National Cathedral suffered extensive damage from an earthquake. As it is a solid masonry structure that took over 83 years to construct, the repair process has been long and expensive. Recently, the cathedral finished up its first phase of repairs which cost about $10 million.

Now, repair crews are heading onto the even more daunting and expensive second phase. This phase will focus on the exterior of the building, such as damaged gargoyles and twisting pinnacles. All in all, the second phase could take a decade and cost $22 million.

According to the director of preservation and facilities, you really can’t tell the extent of the damage from the ground. Jim Shepherd told the Religion News Service that it’s not until he takes visitors to the cathedral’s heights that they truly understand the cost of the repairs. While the price may seem high, it’s amazing to think that the entire cathedral was made and is being repaired by hand.

Washington National Cathedral

To provide some detail, we visited the cathedral’s website to learn more about its architectural history. Here’s what we found:

Primary building material: Indiana limestone

Construction dates: September 29, 1901 – September 29, 1990

Architects: (1907) George Frederick Bodley, (1907–1917) Henry Vaughan, (1921–1944) Frohman, Robb & Little, (1944–1972) Philip H. Frohman

Total weight: 150,000 tons

Total area: 83,012 sq. ft.

Canadian Museum Exhibit Sheds Light on Freemasons

masonic squareWe’ve all heard of the freemasons, a society dating back to the 1700’s known for its secret ways and famous members. Henry Ford has actually been confirmed as a member of this fraternity.

Freemasonry is traced back to Scotland, England and France in the middle ages. Men would form stone mason guilds to train others on how to properly construct buildings. Through the guilds, they would encourage a high quality of workmanship from members. The men would share insider tips, which eventually became protected by memberships and passwords. Perhaps the most intriguing part of freemasonry is the fact that freemasons often frown upon taking credit or bragging.

Because freemasons remain so tight-lipped about member rituals, many have mustered a suspicion toward the group. However, a travelling exhibit created by the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Center in Southampton, Ontario is promoting understanding and appreciation for Masonic history and its influence on society. This exhibit is titled “Freemasonry: A History Hidden in Plain Sight,”and is described as follows:

This exhibit informs the public, arouses curiosity and promotes learning about Freemasonry’s heritage and cultural identities.  Freemasonry contributes to communities in a number of ways through the unspoken and invisible act of helping those in need.  Inspired by, and with enormous assistance from, our local Masonic Lodges, this exhibit attracted a very high shoulder-season audience to our facility in the spring of 2011.  Local Masonic Lodges in the area of your museum may wish to take advantage of the increased profile brought to Freemasonry through recent books and movies to assist you to ensure that your community has access to the Freemasons’ story that’s “hidden in plain sight.”  Inclusion of artifacts from your partner Lodge makes this exhibit appealing to locavores.

Although Ontario may be a long trip for most of us, consider contacting the museum to see if the exhibit will be travelling near you. This is an interesting part of history that we don’t often have the opportunity to explore.

Petrillo Stone Repairs Marble Crucifix

IMG_0401The crucifix below, carved out of marble, has been shipped in from the Philippines for St. Pius X Church in Scarsdale, NY. It arrived chipped and broken, but Petrillo Stone Corporation is working to make it good as new.

After it has been completely restored, we will send it back to be displayed in the church. At Petrillo Stone, we understand how important this marble statue of Jesus Christ on the cross is to the church as well as the parishioners, so we would never return it in substandard conditions.

See below for images of our progress: