Category Archives: Projects

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.

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.

Limestone carving by Petrillo Stone

Limestone Carvings of Ignatius Loyola

As part of our contract with Fordham University, we finished up these limestone carvings depicting Ignatius Loyola’s life.

To create these carvings, we used Indiana Limestone and the original molds from the 1950’s.

The finished carvings can be found in their home at a monastery in Shrub Oak, NY. Ralph Petrillo is pictured standing next to the last carving.

St. Regis Hotel

Restoring the New York Saint Regis Hotel

We were excited to take on this restoration project at the St. Regis hotel in New York City. The Regis is a chain of luxury hotels that was started in New York in 1904 by American businessman John Jacob “Jack” Astor IV.

The St. Regis of NYC is a 5-Star hotel overlooking 5th Avenue in Manhattan. It’s home to the famous King Cole Bar, where you can order their signature drink, the Red Snapper. One of the most coveted amenities of the hotel is their butler service. Each guest is assigned a butler who can accommodate anything they want, from ironing their suits, to digging up personalized reading material.

We wish we could have stayed at the Regis just a little longer…

Learn more about the St. Regis of NYC.

Restoring an Interior Wall at the Gucci Store in NYC

Interior Wall of the Gucci Store Restored by Petrillo Stone

We recently restored this interior wall of one of the Gucci stores in NYC. We were excited for the chance to work with one of the most successful luxury fashion brands in history.

Guccio Gucci was an Italian immigrant working at the Savoy Hotel in London. While working there, he was inspired by the high-end leather luggage that some of the guests brought with them. He visited the plant that produced many of the goods, H. J. Crave & Sons.

Later, he traveled back to his hometown in Florence, Italy to start his own luxury handbag and luggage company, which remains today as one of the leading luxury fashion houses. The word “Gucci” has become synonymous with quality ever since Lenny Kravitz described his bedroom as “very Gucci” in a 1999 article in Harpers Bazaar.

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.

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.

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.