Our Response to COVID-19: Our Services Remain Available

We hope that you and your family are staying safe and well during this hectic time. The team at Petrillo Stone is maintaining a 6-foot distance and keeping our hands clean.

In this scary and confusing time, we wanted to update our clients and let them know that we are still taking jobs. In order to keep our workers and customers safe, we are running only skeleton crews. In addition, we’ve been thoroughly sanitizing the touch surfaces on all of our equipment and vehicles.

We realize this is an evolving situation, and we’re keeping an eye on it every day.

Limestone carving by Petrillo Stone

Limestone Carvings of Ignatius Loyola

As part of our contract with Fordham University, we finished up these limestone carvings depicting Ignatius Loyola’s life.

To create these carvings, we used Indiana Limestone and the original molds from the 1950’s.

The finished carvings can be found in their home at a monastery in Shrub Oak, NY. Ralph Petrillo is pictured standing next to the last carving.

St. Regis Hotel

Restoring the New York Saint Regis Hotel

We were excited to take on this restoration project at the St. Regis hotel in New York City. The Regis is a chain of luxury hotels that was started in New York in 1904 by American businessman John Jacob “Jack” Astor IV.

The St. Regis of NYC is a 5-Star hotel overlooking 5th Avenue in Manhattan. It’s home to the famous King Cole Bar, where you can order their signature drink, the Red Snapper. One of the most coveted amenities of the hotel is their butler service. Each guest is assigned a butler who can accommodate anything they want, from ironing their suits, to digging up personalized reading material.

We wish we could have stayed at the Regis just a little longer…

Learn more about the St. Regis of NYC.

Restoring an Interior Wall at the Gucci Store in NYC

Interior Wall of the Gucci Store Restored by Petrillo Stone

We recently restored this interior wall of one of the Gucci stores in NYC. We were excited for the chance to work with one of the most successful luxury fashion brands in history.

Guccio Gucci was an Italian immigrant working at the Savoy Hotel in London. While working there, he was inspired by the high-end leather luggage that some of the guests brought with them. He visited the plant that produced many of the goods, H. J. Crave & Sons.

Later, he traveled back to his hometown in Florence, Italy to start his own luxury handbag and luggage company, which remains today as one of the leading luxury fashion houses. The word “Gucci” has become synonymous with quality ever since Lenny Kravitz described his bedroom as “very Gucci” in a 1999 article in Harpers Bazaar.

Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia City Hall: One of Our Favorite Masonry Buildings is Also the Tallest Traditional Masonry Building in the World

Traditional masonry is rare. Chances are that when you see a stone or brick building, there is a steel frame underneath that’s doing most of the heavy lifting. In the days before steel, all those heavy materials were supported by thick, load-bearing walls.

When it was built in 1901, Philadelphia City Hall was the tallest skyscraper in the world, the first non-religious building to hold the title. At 548 feet high, it remains the world’s tallest load-bearing building.

The load-bearing walls of this architectural wonder are 22 feet thick in some places, allowing them to support the heavy masonry work above. Construction took 30 years to complete and cost a total of 24 million dollars. After its construction, no architect had the desire to attempt such an ambitious project.

Philadelphia’s City Hall remains one of the most impressive buildings we’ve seen.

Egyptian Pyramids

The Oldest Building Techniques are Also Best for the Environment

The Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt were built about 4,500 years ago, but they’re still standing tall and strong.

Like many older buildings, the pyramids were built to last as long as possible, but today, that isn’t always our biggest priority. However, it should be! In addition to saving time and money, building structures with longevity in mind is easier on the environment.

In particular, masonry is an environmentally-friendly method for building. Building with brick and stone is one of the oldest building techniques there is, yet the durability makes it excellent for reducing environmental impact.

A Long-Lasting Material

Masonry’s durability results in a low annual environmental impact that improves over time. To begin with, shipping the materials typically requires less fuel. Since the materials are heavy, there are manufacturing plants near most major cities.

When you think about sustainability, you have to think long-term, which means considering what happens to the building when it’s no longer in use. Bricks can be crushed into a powder that can be repurposed into useful materials. This procedure involves no toxins, no waste, and no landfill.

Seal Moisture Out of Walls

Masonry makes a great building material because it seals moisture out while allowing it to escape. Many modern walls trap moisture inside the wall, which can lead to mold and mildew. In fact, trapped moisture is believed to be one of the causes of “sick building syndrome,” a phenomenon in which people get ill more often when confined together inside a building.

The idea that newer is always better is a common misconception. Oftentimes, techniques that have been around for hundreds or thousands of years are also the best. Click here to read more about this topic on the Guardian.

Follow Us on Instagram!

Following us on Instagram is the best way to stay in-the-know regarding goings-on at Petrillo Stone.

On our account, we like to share photos of trips, recent projects, and sometimes not-so-recent memories from our shop’s beginnings in 1907. We’re also found of the video function so our followers can see our work in action.

Check out the photos below to get an idea of the photos we post:

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.