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abe lincoln robotic carving

Petrillo Stone Carves Abraham Lincoln with New Robotic Machine

More and more industries around the world are taking advantage of the power of technology – and Petrillo Stone is thrilled to be able to bring a new piece of tech on board to help with the details. Recently, our team was able to procure an incredible robotic carving machine! This machine allows us to enhance our skill with even more intricate detail and beauty than we ever had been able to before.

Marble Carving of Abraham Lincoln

Our first creation with the robotic carving machine was a beautiful bust out of marble of Abraham Lincoln. A timeless piece that rivals the Roman marble statues (in our humble opinion) came out with exquisite detail right down to the wrinkles on his forehead.

Why We Wanted a Robotic Carving Machine

Petrillo Stone is known for the intricate details we put into every custom carving or stonework we perform. A robotic carving machine will allow us to pour even more time into design. While we don’t intend to use the machine for every carving (as we pride ourselves on the hand-carving skill we have perfected since 1920), we do hope to offer this as an extension of our already beautiful and highly sought-after pieces.

We look forward to creating many more amazingly detailed carvings for our clients in the future and bringing back more historical artwork to businesses around New York City.

gold leaf install

Fordham University Receives Hand-Carved, Gold Leafed Stone

Petrillo Stone made an exciting return to the McShane Building at Fordham University this past summer – a building our team has worked on a time or two before. This time, we had the honor and pleasure of installing a hand-carved, 24-karat gold-leafed dated stone.

A History of Petrillo & Fordham University

The McShane Building – and Fordham University – has been at the top of our project list for the past several years. One of the first projects we did for Fordham University – located in the Bronx – was to hand-carve two custom Limestone designs. One was a cross and the other was the university seal.

Honoring the Past with Gold-Leafed Stone

The latest project Petrillo was commissioned to complete was this beautiful gold-leafed stone. This 24-karat gold-leafed stone was dated and named in honor of the former President of Fordham University, Father Joseph McShane. It was carved into Portuguese Limestone – a very dense stone. Unlike other Limestone options that we have used in the past (such as Aegean which comes from the Mediterranean), Portuguese Limestone is cut straight from the earth and contains darker veins and a lighter background – making it a sharp, beautiful contrast perfect for exteriors.

A Legacy Left in Stone

We hope this custom, hand-carved gold-leafed stone preserves the legacy that Father McShane left. While pictures only show so much – it is worth the drive to Fordham University’s Rose Hill Campus to view it in person.

The Many Uses of Stone: Unveiling the Versatility of Masonry Masterpieces

the benjamin hotel sign

The Benjamin Hotel

When it comes to timeless elegance and enduring strength, there’s no material quite like stone. As a stoneworking company, we have witnessed the incredible versatility of stone in various construction and design projects. From historic monuments to modern residential structures, stone has played a significant role in shaping our architectural landscape.

We wanted to take the opportunity to explore the many uses of stone in masonry.

Ways to Use Stone for Businesses and Homes

  • Facades: Stone facades exude a sense of sophistication. The customization options are endless and natural stone elevates the curb appeal of residential and commercial buildings alike, making a lasting impression on visitors and passersby.
  • Foundations: A strong foundation is necessary for maintaining stability. Stone is an inherently strong and durable base that can ensure longevity.
  • Fireplaces & Chimneys:  Stone fireplaces and chimneys bring a cozy charm and warmth to interior spaces. From rustic to modern designs, stone-clad hearths remain a beloved focal point.
  • Gardens: Use stone in patios, pathways, retaining walls, and water features to add natural beauty and functionality to outdoor spaces.
  • Kitchens: Incorporating stone into kitchens, especially outdoor kitchens, has become increasingly popular. From granite countertops to stone oven surrounds, stone elements bring durability and elegance to alfresco cooking spaces.
kitchen tops

Imperial Danby Honed Marble Kitchen Counter

In addition to stone being versatile, it also is sustainable. It has a long lifespan and requires minimal maintenance. We especially love working with it because it gives us the ability to create intricate architectural details.

Check out our gallery to see some of our past projects.

Carving Brownstone

Featured Projects of 2022

As the middle of 2023 grows closer, we wanted to take the opportunity to feature some of the amazing projects we were able to work on last year. Our industry is fortunate because we get to come face-to-face with history and help preserve or restore the beauty that has been lost for centuries. From Fortune 500 companies to universities and hotels – we have worked on some really incredible projects. Here are a couple of our favorites.

Custom Carved Tracery Window at Fort Washington Collegiate Church in Manhattan

collegiate churchFor Washington Collegiate Church is part of five ministries across Manhattan, New York. With its long-standing history going back to 1907, this church building is one of the oldest Protestant congregations on the continent. Petrillo Stone hand-carved a tracery window out of Indiana Limestone and paired it with beautiful stained glass. Learn more about this job and the interesting timeline of the church.

 

Accenting the Palace Hotel with Historic Brownstone Carvings

Brownstone CarvingsThe dust hasn’t even settled on one of our absolute favorite projects of 2022. The Palace Hotel in New York City has an incredible past – and so does the material we were commissioned to carve – brownstone. A popular stone for many custom works and architecture back in the 1700s, brownstone was even used to carve dates and names on headstones and used in old Quaker mills all across Pennsylvania and the Northeast. In the last 300 years, however, brownstone has faded into the history books. It was our pleasure to bring it back to life in one of the most beautiful buildings in all of New York City! Check out the project.

Why We Loved These Projects

Our team at Petrillo Stone loves history and preserving the nature of historical architecture like the Collegiate Church in Manhattan and the Palace Hotel in NYC. Whether we are called to preserve what was already there or commissioned to create a custom-carved work of art, the ability to bring history back to life is as exciting as if we jumped into a time machine and saw it created for the first time.

Keep History Alive with Custom Stonework

If you are a business owner, head of a company or university, or church leader looking to preserve or add custom stonework to your building, contact us at Petrillo Stone Corporation. We would be honored to work with you on a project.

Brownstone Carvings

Palace Hotel in New York City Gets Hand-Carved Brownstone Accents

Our team at Petrillo Stone Corporation was excited to take on another fantastic custom carving for the Palace Hotel in New York City! As history buffs, being asked to contribute to a hotel with such a rich history was an honor. Here is some background on the job!

The Use of Brownstone

A historical element in its own right, Brownstone (sometimes called ‘freestone’) was often used in early American construction by Quakers. Much of the old mill houses and mills around Pennsylvania were in fact built using Brownstone. In the 1700s, headstones were crafted out of Brownstone because of how easy it was to carve dates and names into the stone. It was found, however, that Brownstone did not withstand the elements and was highly susceptible to erosion – so its use in building was phased out.

As new methods and materials were discovered and used for construction, Brownstone became a prized stone used in historical buildings as accents or elegant features – rather than in the construction of the building itself.

Hand-Carving History

Carving Brownstone thrusts us back into the 1700s. Not only is this a beautiful stone, but using it in historical buildings only adds to the aesthetic. We felt like time travelers as we carved these beautiful Brownstone features that will soon be added to the Palace Hotel in New York City – a hotel that offers stories more than 100 years in the making.

Project Wrap-Up

We can’t wait to update our blog and social media with pictures of this project after it is installed at the Palace Hotel in NYC. Make sure you follow us and stay in the know so you don’t miss out on other beautiful hand carvings in and around New York.

Petrillo stone carving project

Choosing Between Cast Stone and Natural Stone

Petrillo stone carving projectStonemasonry has evolved since its early beginnings. Even as far back as thousands of years ago, natural stone from quarries was used to build the first homes, churches, and theatres. Today, adding stonework to your home, church, or business is easy and you have many options. Some use stone for their fireplaces, others spruce up their landscape or add a custom path to their front door. As a business or church, you may want to use stone to add beauty and intricate design to your building.

Cast Stone

Modern techniques have made adding stonework to any area much easier. One of the best ways to add stonework that is also great on a budget is by using cast stone. Cast stone is a highly refined building material usually formed by mixing natural elements like quartz, granite, limestone, or marble. Cast stone mix is then pushed through molds to give it a look that resembles the density and texture of natural stone. While this can look authentic, it cuts the cost of paying for the real thing while still adding the value that stonework offers.

Natural Stone

Just like our ancient ancestors, we too can use natural stone to enhance the beauty around us. The historical look of natural stone can give you a unique look that will draw the attention of anyone who happens by. Natural stone can be quartz, marble, limestone, granite, basalt, onyx, and more. By using quarries, natural stones are brought forth from the earth and used for building a variety of things. Because cast stone is created using molds, the amount of detail within the stonework can be minimal. With natural stone, a sculptor can get as detailed or as intricate as possible (think of Greek and Roman marble statues or ancient cathedrals). This level of detail is unparalleled – but you have to pay for it.

How to Choose a Stone for Your Project

natural stoneDeciding which stone to use for your project can be difficult, but there are some things to consider. While cast stone is often an easier choice and more cost-effective, cast stone has its limitations. Because cast stone is created by mixing stone elements together and pushed through a mold, it can be difficult to add intricate detail through carving. For buildings that need to go up fast, or for walkways or additions to your home that you want to be done quickly, cast stone is a perfect choice.

Natural stone, although more expensive, can provide you with more detail by allowing a professional sculptor to customize it for your needs. If you think back to Roman theatres or Greek marble statues, the level of detail can be incredible, and that is what you can expect from natural stone.

Work With Us

At Petrillo Stone, we love working with all types of stone to help people get their desired results. We love historic cathedrals and monuments that showcase the beauty of natural stone, but we also appreciate the types of buildings that can be erected with the use of cast stone. For more information or for help deciding which stone to use, please contact us today.

hand carved tracery window

Hand-Carving a Tracery Window at Fort Washington Collegiate Church in Manhattan

Our work takes us to the most beautiful and serene locations – both in and near New York City. This time, we were at the Fort Washington Collegiate Church in Harlem. Founded in 1907,  it is part of the oldest continuous Protestant congregations in North America. With the incredible history of the building, it was only fitting to hand-carve a tracery window out of Indiana Limestone.

It’s All in the Details

Every aspect of our work focuses on the intricate details of the existing stonework and the purpose of each building. For the Marble Collegiate Church, the details were derived from the late Gothic period of architecture.

Tracery Windows

Beautiful detail in many old churches, tracery windows are divided into individual glass sections supported by stone bars or molding. This glass can then be stained, frosted, or left clear. In most churches, this style of architecture provides an unmatched serenity for patrons of the faith.

Indiana Limestone

A tracery window can be supported by the use of different types of stonework or ribs of molding, but a popular option for many buildings – including colleges and churches – is Indiana Limestone. Known for its durability and strength, Indiana Limestone adds a hint of elegance when combined with historical architecture.

Because this project was hand-carved by our stonemasons at our facility in Mount Vernon, New York, it took several weeks to produce the finished product. It took us just a few days to install, and now it is posed to impress generations to come.

Take a look at our pictures below.

ancient city of stone

3 Things You Need to Know About Stonemasonry

More than 70% of the world’s architecture is built using stone. The craft of stonemasonry is hard to miss. As we commute to and from work or school pick-up lines, we can easily miss out on the beauty of this stonework that is all around us. A foundation for many cities, stonemasonry is something to appreciate. Below are some facts about stonemasonry that you may not have known, but will hopefully give you a new appreciation of the art.

It’s a Tale As Old As Time ancient stonework

From the building of the Pyramids of Giza to the elaborate stone streets and structures of ancient Jerusalem, stonemasonry has been a ‘cornerstone’ and the foundation for most civilizations around the world. In fact, as far back as 8,000 years ago, Native Americans were using stonework for weapons, pottery, and cooking slabs. A commodity even 6,000 years ago, humans would sunbake clay bricks and construct the earliest monuments and structures in history. The art became perfected over the course of thousands of years, but even these early stonemasons were so skilled that many of their builds are still identifiable today. 

What’s older still are the quarries from which some stones are taken. For example, the ancient city of Aswan, Egypt, is estimated to be about 50,000 years old and is the location of the same quarry from which over 2 million blocks of stone were pulled to craft the Pyramids of Giza.

It Can Withstand Fire 

Excavation has been ongoing in many parts of the Middle East, South America, and Europe as ancient civilizations continue to be uncovered. A common theme is that many of the old cities and structures being excavated are the work of stonemasons. While much history has been lost to the elements of nature, stonemasonry has withstood the elements. Stone, unlike many alternative building materials, does not melt, twist or warp in high heat or fire.

As a result, scientists have uncovered massive monuments, churches, houses, and buildings that extremely skilled stonemasons constructed. Some of the most wonderous have been found in places like Jerusalem, Egypt, and Pompeii. Even covered in the desert sand and volcanic dust, the beauty remains.

It Has Contributed to the Advancement of Societies

Cities built with stone, foundations laid by skilled stonemasons, and the perfected art of stonemasonry are some of the reasons why societies advanced as much as they did. History shows us that societies with bigger stone cities, monuments, churches, or structures were often the home of many patriarchs and royalty. Today, with its use in cathedrals and universities, stonemasonry is also a sign of an educated and thriving society.

Our team at Petrillo Stone has been a part of the history of stonemasonry since 1907. Our roots in this field are deep and our passion for the art is immeasurable. Not only do we firmly believe that stonemasonry will continue to stand the test of time, but we have seen firsthand the beauty created when incorporating stonemasonry into any structure. We would be honored if you took a look at our latest stonework projects. Also, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to add stonework to your business or home.

Acropolis Stonework in Greece

Stonework From Around the World

This month, we decided to combine our love of history with our passion for beautiful stonework. The result was a collection of some of the most awe-inspiring stonework from around the world. Some are well-known, and some are more obscure, but we hope to showcase just how incredible and long-lasting quality stonework can be. Enjoy!

Ancient Greek and Roman Stonework

Acropolis Stonework in Greece

Acropolis Stonework in Greece

No one can talk or write about stonework without mentioning Ancient Greece. The Greeks were incredible architects, and they were not discouraged by the countless number of times invaders destroyed their masterpieces. Fortunately, the stonework erected in 482 BCE is still a sight to behold. The once gold and ivory statue of Athena stands atop the Acropolis in the city of Athens. Constructed mainly from limestone, these Greek architects weaved in Pentelic marble to create the jaw-dropping scene you see today.

Just a rock skip away in Rome remains the megalithic Theatre of Marcellus. The architectural influence of many theatres of the time, including the master Colosseum, was built from tufa and travertine, two types of stone known for their ability to resist water absorption. In addition, Marcellus was the first known structure built with fired Roman brick. These skilled architects knew how to construct a robust design, as this is the only theater from the period of Augustus (circa 11 BCE) surviving today.

English Cathedral Stonework

Exeter Cathedral Stone Work_1000

Exeter Cathedral Stone Work

Some of the most eye-catching pillars of architecture from the old world are the cathedrals stamped across England. One of the most noteworthy for stonemasons, such as our team at Petrillo Stone, is the Exeter Cathedral, properly known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter in Exeter. Exeter is an Anglican cathedral, and the seat of the Bishop of Exeter, in the city of Exeter, Devon, in South West England. Gothic-styled stonework, the Cathedral was constructed from stone from more than 20 different local quarries. A combination of Salcombe Stone, Chalk, and Devonian Limestone, Exeter is genuinely a structure that architects, stonemasons, geologists, and historians appreciate.

Closer to Home

While we all seem to fancy ancient and olde worlde stonework, we cannot forget that we are surrounded by beautiful stone structures right here in our neck of the woods. Here is our top-three of the must-see stonework around New York City:

St. Patrick Cathedral New York_1000

St. Patrick Cathedral New York

  • Empire State Building. Most of us have probably been to the top, but have you ever stopped to enjoy the stonework? We highly recommend it.
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Built entirely out of stone in the mid-1800s, St. Patrick’s is an icon around New York City. 
  • Brooklyn Bridge. Next time you take a drive from Brooklyn to Manhattan, as you stop to take in the views of the city, construction, and rush hour, be sure to gaze up at the beautiful stonework of the piers. The Brooklyn Bridge, constructed mainly of limestone, granite, and steel cables, was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

The Stonework of Petrillo Stone

While the history of Petrillo Stone doesn’t go back quite as far as Ancient Greek, we are very proud of the stonework we have erected and the legacy we have built since 1907. Stonemasonry is not only our career; it is our passion. We would be honored for you to view any of our recent stonework projects

Fordham University Seal

Carving and Installing Limestone Work at Fordham University

We recently were contacted by Fordham University who was looking to add two Limestone carvings into their Rose Hill campus in the Bronx, NY.

We hand-carved a cross that was 10 ft by 8 ft and a University Seal that had a 12 feet diameter. It took us a few months to carve the cross and the seal at our Mount Vernon, NY facility. But once they were ready, we installed them in less than a week at the new McShane Campus Center at Fordham University.

Get a close look at how they turned out: