The Story of Stone

Have you ever wondered about the journey that natural stone takes before it is used in a building or furniture? The truth is, the stone’s travels are quite impressive. In a previous blog post, we told you about Frank and Ralph Petrillo’s trip to Italy where they visited the quarry from which Petrillo Stone Corporation sources much of its stone. A recent article on Dwell told a similar story, and we just had to share.

This article tells the story behind a Saarinen marble table top, from quarry, to the Knoll Inc factory, to the home or office. The story gives you an appreciation for this type of craftsmanship as well as the high quality products. Read the full story on Dwell.

Below, find some photos from the quarry in Italy that Frank and Ralph visited.

Petrillo Stone Corporation Celebrates 80 Years of Work with Fordham University

 A Business Relationship that Stands the Test of Time

Fordham University SealFamily-owned, New York-based stone company Petrillo Stone Corporation is celebrating the 80th anniversary of its business relationship with another respected New York institution – Fordham University. As part of that celebration, the team at Petrillo Stone recently carved and installed a new 16 ft. Fordham University seal and accompanying lettering in 23 karat gold leaf at the Lincoln Center Campus.

The relationship between Fordham University and Petrillo Stone Corp. dates way back to the deep dark depths of the Great Depression. In 1936, company founder Antonio Petrillo (A.T. Petrillo Company at the time) took the contract to fabricate all the cut limestone work for Keating Hall, at the Rose Hill Campus. This was a huge undertaking. The majority of the finished work was hand carved and all of the work was fabricated in the shop in Mount Vernon, NY. Keating Hall would be the first of many projects that generations of Petrillos would be handling for Fordham University.

In fact, Antonio’s son, John Petrillo, recounted many years after the completion of Keating Hall to his own son Ralph, “that job is what got our company through the Great Depression.”

In the years after the completion, Petrillo Stone Corporation has continued to replace pieces of limestone for Keating Hall due to acid rain or the shifting of the building. The family-owned business has completed other notable projects for Fordham University over the last 80 years, using the same traditional craftsmanship exemplified by founder Antonio.

“I can only speak for the 38 years I have been at Fordham for the consistently high standard of both product and service we have received from Petrillo Stone. Petrillo takes our ideas and translates them into workable designs executed to perfection at both our campuses,” said Brian J Byrne, Vice President for Lincoln Center Campus.

The above is an excerpt from a recent press release. Find the full article here.

Fordham University Seal Carving

In our last post, we described some of the work we’d been contracted by Fordham University to complete. In addition to those carvings, we’ve been working on a new seal for the Lincoln Center Campus. You can find photos of this work in the gallery below. All artwork is owned by Fordham University.

Petrillo Stone at the Old Phoenix House

Petrillo Stone WorkPetrillo Stone was contracted to remove some beautiful art work out of the old Phoenix House in Mohegan Lake, New York.

There were 14 carved marble stations of the cross, 4 carved marble carvings of Ignatius Loyola depicting his life, marble carvings of Jesus and Mary, a bronze and wood sculpture of Jesus on the cross ( shown below ), as well as another marble carving of St. Ignatius Loyola.

We were contracted to do this work by Fordham University, who owns all the art work. In the above photo, Ralph Petrillo is pictured on the left with John Spaccarelli of Fordham University (middle ) and our friend who transported some of the art work to the shop. Before the building was Phoenix House, it was a Jesuit monastery built in 1954.

Petrillo Stone Corporation Commences Its 109th Year

 

The following is from a press release published by Petrillo Stone Corporation:


A 109-Year-Old Stone & Installation Company Refuses to Get Stuck in the Stone Age

Petrillo Stone Corporation OwnersGuided by founder A.T. Petrillo’s grandsons, Frank R. Petrillo and Ralph E. Petrillo, Petrillo Stone Corporation, a leader in natural stone supply and installation, is heading into its 109th year in business.  The New York based company first opened in 1907 and has worked on a number of recognizable projects, including 11 Madison Avenue, Fordham University, and the Verizon Building (formerly known as the AT&T Building).

“We’ve been involved in high end projects for as long as I can remember,” Ralph Petrillo said.  “One of my first memories is when my father and uncle (John Petrillo and August Petrillo) had taken the contract for the fabrication of the travertine for Lincoln Center in NYC in our shop back in the 1960’s.”

While the fabrication shop has been located at the same location since 1926, not everything is quite the same as it used to be.

“Back in the old days, nothing was brought in cut-to-size from abroad. Everything we installed was pretty much fabricated in our shop,” Ralph Petrillo said. “Now, much of the material is fabricated in other areas and abroad, and when that’s the case, we are still field measuring and doing shop drawings in-house before we install the finished product.”

Petrillo Stone Corporation is still supplying and installing natural stone to high end-projects, which include fabricating the Indiana limestone for the New York Life Insurance Building, supplying stone to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for a restoration project, and working on a new lobby at 90 Park Avenue. Some of the stones for these projects require real craftsmanship and are hand carved in our shop. Besides being very intricately carved, many of those stones weigh over a thousand pounds each.

“We’ve been blessed with a terrific reputation within the stone industry. Our shop can replicate any stone, no matter how fancy or how big. Being able to change with the times is very important as well and finally, it doesn’t hurt to have a little luck on your side.”

 

Feature Wall and Side Wall at 90 Park Avenue

Below are pictures of a feature wall and side wall that we furnished and installed in the lobby at 90 Park Avenue. The stone is Travertine unfilled from Tivoli, right outside of Rome. This project is one of the reasons that Ralph Petrillo went to Italy numerous times this year. The material was purchased from Carlo Mariotti in Tivoli. Petrillo Stone Corp. drafted it, had it cut at Mariotti, and brought it over in a container. The stone was brought to our shop in Mount Vernon, laid out to make sure it was dry, and installed in the lobby.

The desk (seen behind Ralph Petrillo in photo) is hand-selected Agata Gray marble from Carrara, Italy, supplied to Petrillo Stone by Armando Santucci. The architect is Dan Shannon, whom Ralph traveled with to Italy many times in the past year for the selection process. The contractor is Tishman Construction and the building owner is Vornado.

We are very proud of this work and hope you enjoy the photo gallery shared below. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and take in the beauty of this hand-selected Italian stone in person.

Petrillo Stone Corp Travels to Italy

Co-owners Frank and Ralph Petrillo recently took a trip to Italy to attend the Stone Expo in Verona. While there, they also met with a stone supplier in Rome and managed to fit in some sight-seeing. Not only were the pair able to meet with some of the leaders in stone masonry, they were also able to visit some of the architecture that inspires much of their work.

See below for a gallery of photos from the trip:

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!