Since it was established in 1997, CogswellStone has shown steady growth. The company’s owners, John and Lisa Cogswell, initially operated a company that provided installation services for tile and natural stone. They relocated their business from New York to Virginia in 1993, and the increasing demand for natural stone countertops pushed them to open a fabrication shop. Today, they are still experiencing positive results.
Initially, Stone Tech International of Bangalore, India, was created by Bhadravathi Devaraj in 1989 to serve as a consultant to Export Oriented Units (E.O.U.) in India that were looking to purchase state-of-the-art machines for processing stone blocks. Today, Devaraj owns the company with his son Arvind Devaraj, and it recently established its own 100% E.O.U. for processing blocks.
Natural stone serves as a staple in the design of the new George Garvin Brown Garden in Louisville, KY, which is the latest addition to the campus of the Center for Interfaith Relations (CIR). A team of landscape architects, led by Design Principal JP Shadley, ASLA, and Pamela Shadley, ASLA, Managing Principal, of Shadley Associates, P.C. of Lexington, MA, selected a palette of Georgia marble and Canadian granite for prominent features within the garden, such as a water wall, large fountain, seatwalls, planters and accent pavers.
The Marble Institute of America (MIA) recently hosted the first of two “Quarry Tours & More” seminars, which took place on May 16 and 17, 2007. Approximately 30 stone-industry members who were interested in learning more about quarrying in the North East participated in the tour, which pushed off in Barre, VT. During the two-day event, participants visited four quarries and three stone museums as well as a number of other points of interest to stone professionals.
As its name suggests, Grand Lux Café was designed with the intention of creating the ultimate dining experience. By incorporating a selection of rich fabrics and textures, custom handcrafted details and upscale materials such as natural stone into its design, the restaurant easily achieves the “upscale casual” appearance that it strives to project. While the first of its kind was opened several years ago in Las Vegas, other locations have since been established around the country. Among the most recent additions to the chain, which is a sister brand of The Cheesecake Factory, is the Grand Lux Café at the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton, FL, which includes elegant mosaic work that was manufactured by Mosaico Italiano of Pompano Beach, FL.
A combination of onyx and travertine transformed a contemporary master bath into a Zen-like spa in a private residence in Excelsior, MN. The stone palette - combined with 3-inch plank Brazilian Walnut flooring - created a haven where the homeowners can retreat at the end of a tiresome day.
Slate proved to be a versatile material for the redesign of a 2,700-square-foot lake home outside of Austin, TX. The multi-colored textured stone was used as flooring throughout the interior of the residence as well as for the floor surface of the veranda. Its warm tones and natural cleft finish helped to create an elegant yet relaxing family environment.
In recent years, the Williamsburg community in Brooklyn, NY, has transformed from a busy industrial area to an up-and-coming, chic place to live. Situated along the Hudson River, the city streets are lined with galleries, restaurants, boutiques and high-rise apartments - including Schaefer Landing, which sits on the original site of the Schaefer Brewing Co. plant. And to add a hint of urban sophistication to the lobby design of the residential complex, a colorful wall and floor mural was made from slate.
It is John Murray’s forward thinking that has led him to build a flourishing stone fabrication business. In less than 10 years, his company, Counter Intelligence, Inc. of Silver Spring, MD, has expanded from 20 employees to 240. It has also outgrown its 35,000-square-foot shop, and as a result, will be moving to a nearby 70,000-square-foot facility before the end of the year. Additionally, the company has recently opened three satellite locations to ensure that it produces high-quality and prompt service to its customers.
In operation for nearly 20 years, RMG Stone Products, Inc. of Castleton, VT, recently expanded the scope of its business with the addition of several slate quarries. The company, which until last year bought its material from local distributors, realized that there was a market for slate countertops as well as landscape stone and roofing tile.
In this issue of Stone World, we take a look at several U.S. stone producers. Among them is Quality Stone Quarries in Stigler, OK. The owner of the quarry has transitioned his business through the years to keep up with market demand.