Category Archives: News

Iowa State University

Iowa University Team Wins Masonry Award for Innovative Climate Control System

Iowa State UniversityAt Petrillo Stone, we admire masonry for being an ancient art that evolves with new technology. That’s why we’re so intrigued by an architecture team at Iowa State University which recently created a 3D-printed ceramic system that efficiently cools buildings. For their efforts, the team won an award in masonry design and construction.

The project is called “Mashrabiya 2.0,” and is a facade that works its way into a building’s mechanical system. Once installed, it cools the space through evaporative cooling methods. It also works by controlling airflow and light. The secret is in the facade’s micro pores, small holes in the screen wall that ventilate a space as air passes through the pores.

The four faculty members, Shelby Doyle, assistant professor and Daniel J. Huberty Faculty Fellow in Architecture; Leslie Forehand, lecturer; Nicholas Senske, assistant professor; and Erin Hunt, computation and construction lab associate entered a contest called the Joan B. Calambokidis Innovation in Masonry Competition and won in the category of young architects and engineers.

The team was awarded a $10,000 prize after their project was selected by a jury of architects and leaders in masonry.

We would like to congratulate this team for their success! Click here to read the full story.

Glacier National Park

Fund in Place to Repair Burned Stone Building in Glacier National Park

Glacier National ParkSperry Chalet in Glacier National Park in Columbia Falls, MT, requires many costly repairs. The century old building burned in the Sprague Fire on August 31, 2017.

The Great Northern Railway opened Sperry Chalet in 1914, along with a handful of other lodges. Before it burned, Sperry Chalet was one of only two remaining lodges.

Sperry Chalet was a refuge for tired hikers who had to complete a difficult, 6.7 mile hike to reach the chalet. Locally quarried stone lined the walls inside the much-loved dining room, where visitors enjoyed roasts, pies, and breakfast foods.

The two-story masonry building situated on a bed of rock in the backwoods was an icon to visitors as well as those of us in the industry.

The Aftermath of the Fire

The roof and woodwork inside the building has vanished, along with the dormitory portion of the building. Even though much of the building has burned away, the kitchen and dining room may be salvageable.

Since the day after the fire, the Glacier Conservancy has been working with the park’s superintendent, Jeff Mow, to establish a plan of action to revitalize the Sperry Chalet.

The conservancy hired an engineering firm to evaluate the remaining structure, and they stressed that it needs to be stabilized before the winter.

The Sperry Action Fund is currently in need of more donations. Click here to read the full story.

Marble House

The Marble House

Marble HouseHave you visited the museum at Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island? Now open to the public, the building is a landmark in American architecture and still strikingly beautiful.

Marble House was built as a summer home between 1888 and 1892 for Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt. While summer homes in the area were traditionally wooden, Marble House marked the transition to the now well-known stone palace. Alva Vanderbilt was known in society for her flare as a hostess, and it’s said that she saw Marble House as a “temple to the arts”.

According to the website, “The house was designed by the architect Richard Morris Hunt, inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles. The cost of the house was reported in contemporary press accounts to be $11 million, of which $7 million was spent on 500,000 cubic feet of marble. Upon its completion, Mr. Vanderbilt gave the house to his wife as a 39th birthday present.”

Marble House is one of the earliest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the U.S. The building is U-shaped, and consists of four stories although it only appears to be two from the outside. The load-bearing section of the walls are made of brick, and the entire exterior of the building is Westchester marble. Not surprisingly, this gorgeous property as also appeared in several films and television series.

For more about Marble House and the lifestyles of the rich at the turn of the century, visit the Preservation Society of Newport County’s website.

Selecting Stone Blocks from the Lincoln Quarry

We recently flew out to Colorado to pick out blocks for our current project at the Knickerbocker Club in New York. In the gallery below, you can see pictures of Ralph Petrillo with the architectural team, the owner’s representative, the fabricator and the installer of the project. The Rocky Mountains are visible in the background.

The Lincoln Quarry is an underground quarry, which is unusual as most quarries are above ground. It is so named as it was the source for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

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 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.