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.
Joe Vinci’s experience in the quarrying business dates back to his childhood, when he used to help his father at his stone-producing company in Marriottsville, MD. He remembers making trips to the Butler Stone Quarry in nearby Butler, MD, and being impressed with the thriving business back in the 1960s and 1970s. Vinci never abandoned his dream of owning the historic quarry, and in 2005, he made it a reality. After dedicating two years to cleaning up the site, Vinci and his team at Vinci Stone Products are eager to have the quarry once again running at a successful production capacity.
Technistone was established in 1997 as a joint-stock company between Sindat, s.r.o. of the Czech Republic and Technistone USA, Inc. of Houston, TX. The manufacturing plant, which produces a composite product consisting of 93% natural material, is located in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. Utilizing the latest Breton technology, the company manufactures its material that it exports to more than 60 countries across five continents.
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.
For this issue, we are excited to share with you four features that focus on using compact and ultrathin slabs in both residential and commercial projects. As these products continue to gain popularity, we wanted to share different ideas of applications, including an upscale dining environment in the interior of a Saks Fifth Avenue.