Restoring the marble base of a historic sculpture
Matt LoGiudice of Dynamic Stone Care stepped up to the challenge to clean and repair a Calacatta marble base of a historic sculpture that had been damaged from enduring years of South Florida’s weather conditions
A 1964 historic building in South Florida that currently houses a condominium complex was designed by Edward Durell Stone and restored by his son, Hicks Stone Son, in the late 1990s. But while the exterior of the building was revived, the Italian marble base of a sculpture that sits outdoors was in need of repair. The often harsh weather from the Atlantic Ocean, along with its salt water, and the scorching Florida sun can deteriorate most any structure. These conditions, combined with the harsh chemicals used in chlorinated pools and pool maintenance techniques, had left the beautiful marble and metal sculpture stained and etched dull, with corrosion present all over.
The condominium’s association, 400 Association Inc., called on restoration for this artwork but many large South Florida stone restoration companies took a pass on the multi-week challenge, except Matt LoGiudice of Dynamic Stone Care LLC. LoGiudice reached out to Dry-Treat for solutions to restore the marble and return its elegance in the inner courtyard for residents and visitors to view on this historic property.
“I caught the building management off guard when I asked if they were interested in having the monument restored,” said LoGiudice. “I went there to help a friend remove a countertop and saw this Calacatta base that was destroyed with stains. I knew it was something that I could fix. So I got in touch with the lady that ran the place, and she said she got bids from all the big stone guys around the area and they couldn’t do it. You’re also not allowed to change it because it is designated as a monument.”
The 500-square-foot marble base was treated with roughly three gallons of Dry-Treat Oxy Klenza, as it was mixed as a poultice and the entire monument was shrink-wrapped for 24 hours. “The staining was really bad,” said LoGiudice. “When you have to pull stains out of a vertical wall, it’s difficult. You have to use a lot more of a product to get it out. In total, I used five applications. Oxy Klenza is great because it truly gets deep into the pores of the stone and gets anything out of there that isn’t organic.” Dry-Treat SMC was also used to draw out organic and dirt from the marble, as well as Eff-Erayza that was used to draw out oxide stains.
On top of that, the marble had received patches over the years and LoGiudice had to fix that as well. “I had to redo a lot of that marble,” said LoGiudice. “Previous people had used concrete and grout in the seams to fix the marble. I had to go in there, clean it out and then fill it in and color match it. It’s hard to get the perfect Calacatta color since it isn’t just white. There are many shades to Calacatta and the color of the stone is very distinct.”
One of the biggest challenges was the temperature and weather of Florida. “When trying to remove stains from a stone, I have to keep it as dry as possible,” said LoGiudice. “The land owners put up these giant saw horses basically with a giant tent on top that reached about 18 feet. It has to go over the very top of this monument. Now in the middle of the day, with the sun beating down on this tarp heating it up, it could get up to 150 degrees inside there. Working conditions were the worse.” The restoration took five weeks.
While the property management has been very pleased with the job, LoGiudice takes a lot of pride in his work. “At the end of the day I live by my slogan, artistic approach, flawless results,” said LoGiudice. “Every job I do with my heart and when I stumbled onto this job I saw an art project rather than just money. It’s an honor to have been given the opportunity to restore such a significant piece and I hope to do more in my career. It truly is an art form and it takes a lot of patient, dedication and skill. I am extremely proud of this job. This is something that I truly love doing. I really love how custom of a job it is and it’s my most prized piece of work to date that I have done.”