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:
From time to time we like to feature unique stories about stone and masonry. Our ancestors had to be creative when it came to recording information. The most common way was carving important information into stone and stone walls.
Recently, a slab of stone with engraved intricate lines and motifs dating as far back to the Bronze Age has been revealed to be Europe’s oldest map, researchers say.
As investigated by CNN, researchers utilized high-resolution 3D surveys and photogrammetry to examine the Saint-Belec Slab – an engraved and partly broken piece of stone that was discovered in 1900 but forgotten about for almost a full century. It was revealed to be the oldest cartographic representation of a known territory in Europe.
The Oldest Map of Western Brittany Recorded
The records of this map show that the slab was moved into a private museum, the National Museum of Archaeology, in the castle of Saint-German-en-Laye, in 1900. In 2014, it was rediscovered in one of the museum’s cellars.
After studying this slab, researchers recognized that its surface was deliberately 3D-shaped to represent a valley with lines in the stone thought to depict a river network. The team of researchers noticed similarities between the engravings and landscape of Western Brittany. There are still many unknowns to this story, including why the slab was broken in the first place.
This study was published in the French Journal Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française.
It is exciting and interesting to learn the different functions of stone, and how it has changed throughout centuries.
We are excited to share that we have been awarded a multimillion-dollar marble contract for our most recent project with the CommonWealth Partners’ property in the lobby of their 50-story office at 787 Seventh Avenue in New York City.
787 Seventh Avenue in New York City houses an athletic club, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a parking garage, two restaurants, and offers direct access to transportation. Our contract consists of removing and salvaging stone benches, planters, and lighting, known as Flanagan Sculpture. We are drafting, supplying, and installing over 20,000 square feet of Avorio Limestone, Calacatta Marble, Absolute Black Granite, Porcelain, Ceramic Tile, and Silestone. This project is estimated to be completed by the second quarter of 2021.
There are countless types of stone that can be used as materials for building. Each stone is unique, not all stones are equal, and some perform better when you use it for materials. At Petrillo Stone, we commonly use 6 materials in our projects:
- Basalt: This stone is between medium and fine grain. It’s dark-colored and composed of plagioclase and pyroxene minerals. This stone is commonly used to build roads, bridge piers, dams, river walls, and statues.
- Granite: Granite has a crystalline structure, and the grain can range from fine to course. It’s mostly made up of quartz and feldspar, with a little bit of mica and amphibole. Granite is used in buildings, bridges, paving, and monuments. Indoors, it can be used for tile floors, stair treads, and countertops.
- Sandstone: Sandstone is commonly combined with silica cement, and this mix is used to build heavy, solid structures. It’s made up of sand grains and a mix of silt or clay particles to occupy the space between the sand grains.
- Limestone: We commonly use limestone although not all limestone is usable. Certain varieties have high clay content making them non-durable. But, limestone is compact and dense which makes it great for building materials for floors, roofs, and pavements. Salty air can abrade it, so it’s best not to use it in coastal areas.
- Slate: Slate is made of quartz, clay minerals, and mica. It is extremely fine-grained and is used to make roofing tiles and pavers.
- Marble: Marble is known to be strong, uniform, imperious, and polishes beautifully. It’s made out of crystallized carbonate minerals. It’s easily carved, hence all the ancient statues carved in marble.
We hope that you and your family are staying safe and well during this hectic time. The team at Petrillo Stone is maintaining a 6-foot distance and keeping our hands clean.
In this scary and confusing time, we wanted to update our clients and let them know that we are still taking jobs. In order to keep our workers and customers safe, we are running only skeleton crews. In addition, we’ve been thoroughly sanitizing the touch surfaces on all of our equipment and vehicles.
We realize this is an evolving situation, and we’re keeping an eye on it every day.
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.
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.
Here are some photos we took while gathering materials for a recent project. We used these pieces of stone on an interior project at an office building on Madison Avenue in New York City.
If you’re interested in seeing an interior project later in the process, check out this past post.
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.
Traditional masonry is rare. Chances are that when you see a stone or brick building, there is a steel frame underneath that’s doing most of the heavy lifting. In the days before steel, all those heavy materials were supported by thick, load-bearing walls.
When it was built in 1901, Philadelphia City Hall was the tallest skyscraper in the world, the first non-religious building to hold the title. At 548 feet high, it remains the world’s tallest load-bearing building.
The load-bearing walls of this architectural wonder are 22 feet thick in some places, allowing them to support the heavy masonry work above. Construction took 30 years to complete and cost a total of 24 million dollars. After its construction, no architect had the desire to attempt such an ambitious project.
Philadelphia’s City Hall remains one of the most impressive buildings we’ve seen.