In late September, Artistic Tile hosted a group of designers and architects on a tour of the Danby marble quarry, located within the Dorset Mountain in Vermont. The daylong trip started in New York and finished back in the city after a full day of activities.
While visiting the quarry, attendees had the opportunity to see an excavator topple a 100-ton wall of marble several feet in front of them, and 20-ton blocks of stone being moved from its natural position. They also learned about the cutting and finishing process, and met with quarry employees. In addition, guests were given the chance to hike through the mountain and step inside “rooms” consisting of floor-to-ceiling marble that was being removed block by block. While surrounded by stone in its natural setting, they viewed the operation of modern quarrying equipment, including both a diamond wire saw and chain saw. After viewing the block removal process, they watched the massive blocks be cut into slabs, and observed how the different finishes are achieved.
The Danby quarry is the largest underground marble quarry in the world, and sits within 500 miles of many major U.S. population centers, including New York City. Under the LEED point qualifications, the use of local materials qualifies Danby for one LEED point when used within 500 miles of the quarry. Danby marble is also Greenguard certified by the Greenguard Environmental Institute, which establishes building standards to protect the health of a building’s occupants. Danby marble is a versatile material with a low absorption rate, making it a leading white marble used for kitchen countertops, reports the company. It is also ideal for green-building projects.
During the ride to Vermont, Levinson conducted a CEU course for attendees called “Journey from the Center of the Earth,” which explored the stone’s journey from the quarry to the finished product. Attendees received two credits for the CEU course from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Attendees also received an additional two CEU credits from AIA for the tour of the quarry.