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.
As a tribute to the 20,000 veterans currently living in Yonkers, NY, as well as to pay homage to those who courageously lost their lives in battle, the Veteran’s Memorial at City Hall was recently commemorated after an expansion and restoration process. The project was coordinated by Stony Creek Quarry Corp. in conjunction with the Yonkers Veterans Service Agency and the Department of Engineering in Yonkers.
Approximately eight years in the making, the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is the largest building ever built in the University of California School System. The facility comprises 10 stories - eight of which are above ground - and includes 1 million square feet of space that sits on 4 acres at the southwest corner of Westwood Plaza and Charles E. Young Drive South in Los Angeles, CA. And despite the massive size of the new medical center, the unique design, which was developed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei and his son, C.C. Pei of Pei Partnership Architects in New York, creates the illusion of several smaller hospitals instead of a single overwhelming structure. The exterior is built of more than 3 million pounds of Ambra Light travertine - imported from Tivoli, Italy - contributing to the high-quality look of the facility.
Marc Beaudet of Old World Marble & Granite, Inc. in Naples, FL, has taken a different approach than his local competitors to selling stone countertops in the area. While Naples is typically a 3-cm market, Beaudet’s company primarily works with 2-cm slabs. His previous experience in the industry allows him to explain to his upscale clients the benefits of using a slightly thinner material with a laminated edge. And in the nine years that Old World Marble & Granite has been in business, his efforts have proven successful.<
Pier 1 Imports first opened its doors in San Mateo, CA, in 1962. Initially, the company, which specializes in home furniture and accessories, was established as one store, but today it has expanded to include more than 1,100 locations throughout North America. The company is headquartered in Fort Worth, TX, and recently a new building was constructed on a premium site to house the 700 associates that work in the corporate office. And in keeping with the high-quality traditional design that was desired, a variety of Italian stone -- supplied by Henraux S.p.A. of Querceta, Italy -- was employed for exterior and interior applications throughout the 20-story, 450,000-square-foot structure.
The stone materials quarried in Bavaria -- particularly Jura stone -- have long been noted for their abundant fossilization, with many architectural works taking care to highlight this aspect of the stone. Taking this concept to the next level, the Jura-Museum in Eichstätt, Germany, houses a wealth of fossils that have been discovered in the region, and it has been visited by leading paleontologists from around the world.
A group of independent German stone producers joined forces to form JMS Jura Marble Suppliers GmbH -- making the group the largest supplier of Jura marble, specializing in architectural projects. The group is headquartered in Eichstätt, Germany, a medieval town that sits between Munich and Nuremberg. One of the companies within JMS is Neumeyer & Brigl, which owns three quarries and operates a complete stoneworking plant to produce tiles, slabs, cut-to-size and specialty pieces. The company works in cooperation with the other members of JMS to supply its Jura marble products to markets around the world.
Stone+tec 2007 took place from June 6 to 9 at Exhibition Centre Nürnberg in Nuremberg, Germany, and NürnbergMesse, the show’s organizer, reports successful results for the latest edition of the natural stone show. Held every other year, Stone+tec 2007 marked the 15th edition for the International Trade Fair Natural Stone and Stone Processing Technology Exhibition. The show provided an ideal arena for stone industry professionals to meet, exhibit their products and conduct business.
Barre, VT, has long been known for its fruitful supply of Barre granite. The industry particularly witnessed explosive growth when the first railroad -- known as the “Sky Route” -- was built in town in 1888. And leading the charge among local granite producers was Boutwell, Milne & Varnum Co., which eventually evolved into what today is called Rock of Ages. Presently, the company owns 10 quarries throughout the U.S., Canada and Ukraine, including the E.L. Smith Quarry in Barre, VT.
In this issue of Stone World, check out content about an office tower in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, which straddles the city’s business and fashion districts. Also read about Tab India, which is another recognized stone producer from India. Through the years, the company has invested heavily in its quarrying and fabrication operations.