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:

Petrillo Stone Corps’ Latest Project: the New York Life Building

New_York_Life_Building_2Construction on the New York Life Insurance Building was completed in 1928. Its combination of a gold pyramid roof and Gothic details makes it a great example of the Art Deco/Moderne movement. It stands 615 feet tall, contains 40 floors, and occupies an entire block in Manhattan. Additionally, the building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1972.

Recently, renovations have become necessary to maintain the landmark and Petrillo Stone Corporation was hired to handle the job. In the photos in this post, you can see one of the original gargoyles from the New York Life Building (And our very own Ralph Petrillo in the background). Next to it, you’ll see the replica we made. Can you tell the difference? Hint: Ours looks much newer.

We carved this exact copy out of Indiana limestone and will sandblast to give it a weathered look. Both gargoyles will be re-added to the building’s exterior.

We’re so proud and honored to lend a helping hand to an historic icon.

Ponte Rotto: The Bridge to Nowhere

1024px-Roma-ponterotto01You’re probably familiar with the great architecture of Rome, like the Colosseum and the Pantheon. Millions of tourists flock to the city each year just to catch a glimpse of these great works. However, you may not have heard of the Ponte Rotto, or broken bridge.

Originally named the Pons Aemilius, it was built in 179 B.C. and is one of the only remaining examples of Roman Republican architecture. It was constructed to connect the cattle farm on the eastern bank with Trastevere on the western bank. However, no one has been able to cross it since Christmas Eve 1598, when floods carried the eastern part away.

Ancient Stone Masonry in the Ponte Rotto

What was really remarkable, though, was that it was one of the first stone Roman bridges. At the time, bridges were wooden and entirely supported on timber piles. Instead, the Pons Aemilius was constructed of a wooden roadbed, supported by five stone pillars.

The stone used was locally quarrified volcanic tufa, a form of volcanic ash. The stone was laid in ashlar masonry style, or an interlocking style of horizontal and vertical slabs set in parallel courses. To learn about the construction of the Pons Aemilius, more famously known as the Ponte Rotto, you can check out this detailed article by The Wall Street Journal.

The Ponte Rotto has a rich history of rebuilding and reconstruction, and has been witness to major events in Roman history. Throughout it all, it’s been a reminder of the past and a point of interest for artists through the ages.

Philadelphia City Hall: One of the World’s Largest All-Masonry Buildings

Philadelphia_City_Hall_at_nightIf you’ve ever been downtown in Philadelphia, there’s no question that you’ve noticed City Hall. The remarkable, French Renaissance-style building is breathtaking and easily identifiable, thanks to William Penn gracing the structure’s top.

You may also know that when plans for construction began in 1871, City Hall was intended to be the tallest structure in the world at 548 feet tall. Unfortunately, construction of the Eiffel Tower  and Washington Monument ruined that dream before City Hall’s construction ended. However, neither of those structures were used as buildings so Philadelphia’s City Hall remained the world’s tallest occupied building until 1909, when the Metropolitan Life Building was built in New York.

Traditional Stone Masonry

The reason that City Hall still strikes us at Petrillo Stone Corporation as legendary is the fact that is an all-masonry, load bearing building — and still one of the largest in the world. Most of the seemingly stone buildings we see today actually have a support frame built of steel and iron. This building, however, is made of brick and covered in white marble and granite. It has walls up to 22 feet thick at the base to support its immense weight.

Because this type of construction is so time-consuming and expensive, most designers have virtually abandoned load-bearing structures over the last century. City Hall took 30 years and over 24 million dollars to complete. This is a beautiful example of pure stone masonry that has rightfully earned its spot as the center of a historic city.