Located on the open plains of Milbank, SD, Dakota Granite Co. operates a full-scale stone-processing plant and several quarries. The company was incorporated in June of 1925 as a wholesale quarrier/fabricator of Dakota Mahogany monuments. Initially, it had seven employees who worked at a shop and quarry that was six miles east of Milbank. Today, Dakota Granite has grown to include approximately 85 employees, and in addition to manufacturing monuments, the company has established itself as a block supplier.
Since it first opened in 1989, Amendola Marble and Stone, Inc. of White Plains, NY, has certainly undergone a transformation. Its principals, Sergio and Maria Amendola, initially started the company as a tile showroom, and today it has flourished into a full-scale fabrication shop that produces stone and engineered quartz products for high-end residential projects as well as large commercial jobs. Moreover, the Amendolas further expanded their business by establishing a subsidiary company, Custom Counters, Inc. in Waterbury, CT, in 2004.
Since its beginnings in 1987, CaesarStone Quartz Surfaces has continued to expand and evolve. Today, with over 200 employees in the U.S. and 600 worldwide, the Israeli company has more than doubled its slab production capacity within the last three years. It has a national distribution system in the U.S. with over 20 distributors, and it owns six CaesarStone branches nationwide, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Washington, DC, New York and Miami.
Standing in the heart of the Village of Tinley Park in Illinois is an Arts and Crafts style train station with limestone cladding and a slate roof, which has become the center of attraction in the community. In particular, the station's three-story clock tower with an observation deck contributes to the overall character of the design. The train station was the first step in a master plan targeted at resurfacing the "Old World charm" of the village.
The importance of Marmomacc to the world of stone was demonstrated by this year’s “Marmomacc Meets Design” initiative, which paired leading international designers with 10 Italian stone processors. The pairings focused on the “lightness” of stone in developing objects such as lamps as well as entire booth designs.
The 42nd edition of Marmomacc, the International Natural Stone and Technology Exhibition, took place from October 4 to 7, 2007, at VeronaFiere in Verona, Italy. And according to its show organizer, the increasingly international event confirmed its role as a landmark show in the natural stone industry by posting impressive attendance figures.
When designing the new Natural Science and Engineering Research Building at the University of Texas at Dallas, the architects wanted to reflect the colors of the existing architecture on campus, but at the same time, they wanted to create a distinct natural-looking appearance for the structure. After some deliberation, it was determined that Texas limestone would be the most appropriate material for the project, and as a result, the local stone was used throughout the interior and exterior of the building. “Our first design goal was to design a state-of-the-art, functional laboratory that is responding to the users’ needs,” said Stuart Baur, Associate Partner at Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP in Los Angeles, CA.
Since 1969, StoneCrafters of St. Cloud, MN, has worked to develop a strong reputation for itself in the stone industry. The company was started as a floor covering business by Vern Salzl, and it has evolved into a state-of-the-art stone fabrication facility, primarily serving the Twin Cities metropolitan area. And in addition to countertop production, StoneCrafters has created a prosperous niche for itself as a tabletop manufacturer - distributing its products to retailers nationwide.
The year 1977 will always be a special year,” said Spiro Xenos, owner of Acropolis Custom Marble and Granite, Inc. in St. Louis, MO, with his wife Anna. “It’s the year that I came from my homeland, Greece, to the U.S. It’s also when I started to establish my name in the Midwest as a Master Marble Craftsman/Artist.”
The Marble Institute of America (MIA) once again hit the road to tour some of the well-known quarries of North America. This time, the organization headed to Minnesota and South Dakota with a group of industry professionals who were eager to see various aspects of the quarrying and fabrication business in the Midwest. The two-day event, which was held from Thursday, August 23 to Friday, August 24, 2007, provided an educational experience as well as an opportunity for industry veterans and newcomers to network.
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.