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.

Altar at Loyola Hall

Petrillo Stone Corporation recently cleaned and restored the altar at Fordham University’s Loyola Hall. The material is a white Marble that was terribly stained before it was cleaned and patched. You can find the images in the gallery below.

Depression-Era Stonework Being Restored in Monocacy Park

monocacy park

Waterworks on Monocacy Creek

Monocacy Park is one of the beautiful, historic areas gracing Bethlehem, PA. Its rich background includes thousands of stories, but one in particular is resurfacing at present.

Last Wednesday, a project began to restore the Works Progress Administration stonework and masonry that currently lends the park a certain individuality.

Monocacy Park itself was constructed in the 1930’s as a project for the WPA, part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal work-relief programs. This project gave work to men in the area who found themselves unemployed as a result of the Great Depression, and accordingly, gives the park great sentimental value to the community.

Students and volunteers are working to replace grout in some of the columns and give some much needed TLC to the park’s picnic tables and fire pits. All of the grout that is removed will be recycled back into the project. Perhaps the most iconic fixture being restored is the retaining wall, which sports the bold initials “WPA” on one side and the year 1936 on the other.

Although they will be working under the supervision of some stone masonry experts, these volunteers are just as untrained in this traditional art as were the men who originally built the park — and this seems very fitting. The group will be using modern stone mason technology, such as micro injection grout, to improve the park’s structure and waterproofing.

As a true admirer of traditional stonework, Ralph Petrillo and the rest of Petrillo Stone Corporation are warmhearted to hear these community restoration stories. It really puts life back into the architecture. What do you think?

Petrillo Stone Receives Award from US Trade & Commerce Institute

awardThe following is a press release from USTCI about our latest achievement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Petrillo Stone Corporation receives 2013 New York Excellence Award 

May 19th 2014 –  Petrillo Stone Corporation has been selected for the 2013 New York Excellence Award amongst all its peers and competitors by the US Trade & Commerce Institute (USTCI).

Each year the USTCI conducts business surveys and industry research to identify companies that have achieved demonstrable success in their local business environment and industry category. They are recognized as having enhanced the commitment and contribution of small businesses through service to their customers and community. Small businesses of this caliber enhance the consumer driven stature that New York is renowned for.

Petrillo Stone Corporation has consistently demonstrated a high regard for upholding business ethics and company values. This recognition by USTCI marks a significant achievement as an emerging leader within various competitors and is setting benchmarks that the industry should follow.

As part of the industry research and business surveys, various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the selected companies in each category. This research is part of an exhaustive process that encapsulates a year long immersion in the business climate of New York.

About USTCI

The USTCI is a leading authority on researching, evaluating and recognizing companies across a wide spectrum of industries that meet its stringent standards of excellence. It has spearheaded the idea of independent enterprise and entrepreneurial growth allowing businesses of all sizes to be recognized locally and encouraged globally.

Particular emphasis is given to meeting and exceeding industry benchmarks for customer service, product quality and ethical practices. Industry leading standards and practices have been developed and implementation of the same has been pioneered by the dedicated efforts of the business community and commerce leadership.

More information on USTCI can be found at www.USTCI.org