Stone World

English Slate Portrays Manhattan Style

June 1, 2005


Home to a line-up of Broadway shows, renowned restaurants and numerous hotels, the Times Square area of Manhattan draws a crowd of tourists from around the world year round. Additionally, the streets are bustling with working professionals from nearby office buildings. In recent years, city officials have been hard at work to revitalize this district -- making it further enticing to visitors as well as enjoyable to its residents. The completion of Times Square Tower -- designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill of New York -- was the last component of the 42nd Street Development Project. And to achieve the high-profile corporate image that was desired, a sophisticated building materials palette, including English slate, was employed for the design.

The 50-story building, which sits one block south of Times Square and contains 1 million square feet of office space, features design schemes that were influenced by the differing characteristics of each of the streets it faces. For the space referred to as 7 Times Square, Burlington Bursting Stone was among the materials selected for the interior design, creating a modern, upscale, corporate environment.

The green slate, which was quarried and fabricated in England's Lake District by Burlington Stone and supplied through Stone Source of New York, NY/Burlington Natstone, Plano, TX, was employed as wall cladding. The slate was combined with sleek materials such as metal and glass as well as granite flooring, further contributing to the sophisticated appearance of the building.

To ensure that the slate met the design requirements, the project architect, general contractor and sub-contractor traveled to Burlington's facilities in England to evaluate the material. “We actually had the wall dry laid out in England,” said Dominic Moliterno of MGC Stone Co., Inc. in Belleville, NJ, the sub-contractor for the project. “The slate had a ploughed finish, which muted out any inconsistencies.”

Moliterno went on to explain that his company provided all the shop drawings and shop tickets, which were then shipped to Burlington Stone, where the pieces were cut and crated. Once shipped back, MGC Stone Co. unloaded the material and installed it.

In total, approximately 2,240 square feet of Bursting Stone were employed for the interior cladding. Although the pieces varied slightly in size to create a geometric pattern, the approximate size tile measured 3 x 1 1⁄2 feet. According to Moliterno, his crew was instructed by the architect to maintain a standard module. “We were given parameters,” he said.

The slate tiles were installed with stainless steel anchors and cement. “The tricky part was that the wall was set on an angle,” said Moliterno. “We had to make sure that everything was coordinated. The difficult geometry was a concern.”

Complementing the green slate walls was a granite floor, which consisted of a field of Iridian granite supplied by Cold Spring Granite Co. of Cold Spring, MN, surrounded by a border of Jet Mist granite from New England Stone, LLC of North Kingstown, RI. MGC Stone Co. had a team of six workers installing all of the stonework. According to Moliterno, the project took about 18 months from the time of the contract agreement through construction.

End box

7 Times Square
New York, NY

Architect: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, New York, NY
General Contractor: Turner Construction, New York, NY
Sub-contractor: MGC Stone Co., Inc., Belleville, NJ
Stone Quarrier / Fabricator: Burlington Stone, England
Stone Supplier: Stone Source, New York, NY/Burlington Natstone, Plano, TX