Ralph Petrillo Approaches 4 Decades in Family Business

ralph petrilloRalph Petrillo, co-owner of Mount Vernon stone company, Petrillo Stone, is approaching his 40th anniversary of his work in the family business, founded by his grandfather in 1907 after emigrating from Italy. While much has changed over the past century, like stone, many aspects of the dimension stone industry remain constant.

Ralph Petrillo calls the business “a bridge between three generations of workmanship, ideologies and technology.” After learning about the industry from their father and grandfather, today Ralph and his brother, Frank, continue the legacy.

“I always get a kick out of when we replace stones from a building that my grandfather or father originally worked on,” Petrillo said.

One of the biggest changes Ralph has observed since then is that stone is now manufactured and cut in locations throughout the world, and then shipped to New York City. When Petrillo Stone began, all stone had to be cut in the same state as the project location, according to Ralph.

With the changing industry comes new problems. Due to the worldwide scope of the stone industry, Ralph faces a new set of challenges than his father and grandfather.

“The biggest challenge in my work is being competitive with the factories in other places where labor, electricity, water, and property is cheaper,” Ralph said.

Ralph’s insight to the changes is rooted in decades of experience. He and Frank were exposed to the stone industry from an early age.

“As children we would come to my father’s office, go out into the shop and see the men busy cutting stone.  I vividly remember when our shop was cutting the Classic Roman Travertine for many of the Lincoln Center Buildings back in the 1960s,” Petrillo said.

If we could compare that shop from the 60’s, to how it looks in present day, we would notice changes, but we would catch some similarities.

“Although many of our machines have changed throughout the years, we still have some very old, very important machines which date back many years. As far as architecture is concerned, we can fabricate almost anything that an architect in the know can imagine. Styles are always changing, but we are constantly making stones for new building and buildings that are over 100 years old,” he said.

Those deep, historic roots are one of the things Ralph appreciates most about the business. He views his work as a connection from the past, to the present, and into the future.

“What I enjoy most about my business is the history of all the work we have done in the past and the work we are doing now, which will be making history for future generations,” Petrillo said.

When asked about the type of stone jobs he prefers to work on, Petrillo said he particularly enjoys fancier, more challenging jobs, since Petrillo Stone has the capacity to handle challenges that many competitors do not.

“We have the capability to draft and fabricate almost all types of natural stone work. An example of this type of work would be the Gothic Styled arches and tracery windows at Keating Hall at Fordham University,” Petrillo said.

Besides their unique skillset, something else that sets the Petrillo brothers apart is their dedication to quality.

“There are 2 ways of having quality control of the outgoing completed stonework. Both are done in my shop and at most shops. One way is simply having an expert go over every stone which is ready to be shipped out and checked over. Another way which has become very popular is a dry layout involving the architect going to a factory to look at many of the stones that are completed and approve them on the spot,” he said.

Through his work, Ralph Petrillo has had the opportunity to work on some of his favorite buildings.

“I have a few favorite buildings which my business has done the work on in the past and recently. Two of my favorite buildings that we originally did the work on are the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Building and the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. Recently we supplied many new art deco stones to the New York Life Building which I think is really an incredible building as well,” he said.

Now that he’s celebrating 40 years, there is a burning question on our minds. Will the next generation continue the legacy?

As of now, the answer is unclear.

“As far as a next generation running our business, that is an unknown. My brother has 3 boys and I have 2 young girls. It is an interesting concept. I guess we’ll have to wait and see,” Ralph said.

Click here to read the full story.

Iowa University Team Wins Masonry Award for Innovative Climate Control System

Iowa State University LogoAt Petrillo Stone, we admire masonry for being an ancient art that evolves with new technology. That’s why we’re so intrigued by an architecture team at Iowa State University which recently created a 3D-printed ceramic system that efficiently cools buildings. For their efforts, the team won an award in masonry design and construction.

The project is called “Mashrabiya 2.0,” and is a facade that works its way into a building’s mechanical system. Once installed, it cools the space through evaporative cooling methods. It also works by controlling airflow and light. The secret is in the facade’s micro pores, small holes in the screen wall that ventilate a space as air passes through the pores.

The four faculty members, Shelby Doyle, assistant professor and Daniel J. Huberty Faculty Fellow in Architecture; Leslie Forehand, lecturer; Nicholas Senske, assistant professor; and Erin Hunt, computation and construction lab associate entered a contest called the Joan B. Calambokidis Innovation in Masonry Competition and won in the category of young architects and engineers.

The team was awarded a $10,000 prize after their project was selected by a jury of architects and leaders in masonry.

We would like to congratulate this team for their success! Click here to read the full story.

CLOSE OUT MARBLE AND GRANITE SLAB SALE

FOR NOVEMBER 1- December 31, 2017

 

All 2cm slabs $11.50 square foot

All 3cm slabs $16.00 square foot

C.O.D. picked up in our warehouse

We have the following materials to choose from:

Verde Acceglio 2 and 3 cm

Bardiglio 2cm and 3cm

White Marbles 2cm, 3cm and 5cm ($21.00 square foot)

Mocha Cream 2cm, 3cm and 5cm ($21.00 square foot)

Onyx 2cm

Various Other materials please call for more information and appointment 914-668-8561 ask for Debbie

ONG Estate

 

Petrillo Stone supplies Birmingham Buff Sandstone to the ONG Residence Estate in Greenwich, CT

 

 

 

 

 

Fund in Place to Repair Burned Stone Building in Glacier National Park

Sperry ChaletSperry Chalet in Glacier National Park in Columbia Falls, MT, requires many costly repairs. The century old building burned in the Sprague Fire on August 31, 2017.

The Great Northern Railway opened Sperry Chalet in 1914, along with a handful of other lodges. Before it burned, Sperry Chalet was one of only two remaining lodges.

Sperry Chalet was a refuge for tired hikers who had to complete a difficult, 6.7 mile hike to reach the chalet. Locally quarried stone lined the walls inside the much-loved dining room, where visitors enjoyed roasts, pies, and breakfast foods.

The two-story masonry building situated on a bed of rock in the backwoods was an icon to visitors as well as those of us in the industry.

The Aftermath of the Fire

The roof and woodwork inside the building has vanished, along with the dormitory portion of the building. Even though much of the building has burned away, the kitchen and dining room may be salvageable.

Since the day after the fire, the Glacier Conservancy has been working with the park’s superintendent, Jeff Mow, to establish a plan of action to revitalize the Sperry Chalet.

The conservancy hired an engineering firm to evaluate the remaining structure, and they stressed that it needs to be stabilized before the winter.

The Sperry Action Fund is currently in need of more donations. Click here to read the full story.

McGinley Center Fordham University

 

The stations of the Cross and carvings were found in a Jesuit Monistary in Shrub Oak, NY which later became the Phoenix house. The property was recently sold and the marble carvings were a gift to Fordham University. Petrillo Stone dismantled, warehoused, stored, restored and installed at McGinley hall Fordham University Rose Hill campus. This project was overseen by both Ralph and Frank Petrillo from Petrillo Stone Corp Mount Vernon, NY.

The Marble House

Marble HouseHave you visited the museum at Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island? Now open to the public, the building is a landmark in American architecture and still strikingly beautiful.

Marble House was built as a summer home between 1888 and 1892 for Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt. While summer homes in the area were traditionally wooden, Marble House marked the transition to the now well-known stone palace. Alva Vanderbilt was known in society for her flare as a hostess, and it’s said that she saw Marble House as a “temple to the arts”.

According to the website, “The house was designed by the architect Richard Morris Hunt, inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles. The cost of the house was reported in contemporary press accounts to be $11 million, of which $7 million was spent on 500,000 cubic feet of marble. Upon its completion, Mr. Vanderbilt gave the house to his wife as a 39th birthday present.”

Marble House is one of the earliest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the U.S. The building is U-shaped, and consists of four stories although it only appears to be two from the outside. The load-bearing section of the walls are made of brick, and the entire exterior of the building is Westchester marble. Not surprisingly, this gorgeous property as also appeared in several films and television series.

For more about Marble House and the lifestyles of the rich at the turn of the century, visit the Preservation Society of Newport County’s website.

Selecting Stone Blocks from the Lincoln Quarry

We recently flew out to Colorado to pick out blocks for our current project at the Knickerbocker Club in New York. In the gallery below, you can see pictures of Ralph Petrillo with the architectural team, the owner’s representative, the fabricator and the installer of the project. The Rocky Mountains are visible in the background.

The Lincoln Quarry is an underground quarry, which is unusual as most quarries are above ground. It is so named as it was the source for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

Inventory Sale

Petrillo Stone Corporation would like to announce a special offering for you:

We are currently over-stocked in a large variety of stone slabs and pieces, and need to liquidate this stock to make room in our warehouse.  Because of this, we are greatly discounting the prices on our current inventory and passing this saving to you.

Our currently inventory includes all different types of products ranging from:

Marble Granite Blue Stone
Lime Stone Travertine Onyx

Plus other Natural Stone in a variety of sizes (slabs and pieces), colors, and thicknesses, and all are priced to move quickly. Discounts Range from 30% to 50% off normal pricing with additional discounts available for larger quantity purchases.

Appointments are available on a first come, first serve basis and are filling up fast:

Weekdays:  8:30am – 3:30pm Monday – Fridays

Weekends:  Available by appointment only

To make your appointment, contact Debbie Santoro at

914-668-8561 (or email at mailto:dsantoro@petrillostone.com)