After the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, many homes made of wood were destroyed. When it came time to build new homes, laws were passed to prevent a similar disaster. Fireproof materials such as brick, marble, limestone, and terracotta tile became the preferred building materials since constructing buildings with wood was banned in the downtown area. Eight years after the fire, construction of the Nickerson House on Chicago’s near northside neighborhood began. The three-story, 24,000 square foot Italianate mansion was reported to be the largest and most extravagant private residence in Chicago at the time it was completed.
Las Vegas isn’t known for its subtlety. But just beyond a city defined by glitz and sparkle, one can experience a whole other color spectrum—one dictated by nature rather than neon lights. The desert offers a dramatic interplay of hues and textures, as canyons and cliffs in shades of russet, mahogany, and bronze echo across the landscape. These iconic rocks are ancient sand dunes that have become frozen in time; a vast deposit of richly-colored stone that has a myriad of uses.
Being near water has a calming effect and research studies have shown that water features can positively contribute to our overall mental health and well-being. Incorporating natural stone water features at home can bring both beauty and tranquility into your space. Anne Roberts, president of Chicago based Anne Roberts Gardens Company, finds that people love the sound of water because it’s relaxing. Since not every home has a water feature, adding one is a way to make your home stand out.
Four years of overhaul—the complex’s first major renovation since 1917—resulted in a state capitol worthy of the accolades it has received. The stonework received the 2021 Grande Pinnacle Award from the Natural Stone Institute, while awards for the total project streamed in from many trade organizations: the American Public Works Association, Building Design and Construction magazine, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado, the Construction Management Association of America, and Engineering-News Record Mountain States.
A former hospital complex originally built in 1894, the Old Parkland campus in Dallas, Texas, has seen its share of reclamation and renovation in the past decades. The most recent addition, Freedom Place at Old Parkland, echoes the campus’ existing Jeffersonian buildings in style and design. Designing and building a 140-foot, six-story structure that includes 8,310 pieces of limestone required massive planning and coordination — particularly because the original design plan was created for cast stone.
Andreas and Naomi Kunert, co-founders of Ancient Art of Stone, know they don’t easily fit into one category. Together they create one-of-a-kind art installations using natural stone, crystals, and bronze. Andreas and Naomi are artists, first and foremost. It’s not unusual for their art pieces to be 25’ tall. An upcoming project will include a 900-foot mosaic wall, with 20 feet surrounding it and large doorways with 350 ton standing stones that one can walk through.
Julia Manglitz, AIA, LEED AP, APT RP, has worked on several building types throughout her career: county courthouses, state capitols and office buildings, university campus halls and community centers. What makes each of these public buildings unique is they’re all landmarks in their communities. Another thing each of them has in common? Almost all feature locally or regionally-sourced natural stone.
Natural stone has a great reputation for environmentally friendly qualities such as its durability, low embodied energy, no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and being a nearly complete material in its natural state. Mother Nature does most of the work, making natural stone a single ingredient material suitable for many interior and exterior applications that perform impeccably over time. Most other building materials require additional ingredients and a more complex manufacturing process. Because these added materials and processes can have a negative impact on our health and the environment, they should be considered when selecting a material for a project.
While it’s true that natural stone is extremely durable and made to last, it is not indestructible. There is a chemistry to natural stone, and making mistakes can harm it. Protect your investment by avoiding these five common practices.
Compare and contrast features of the countertop surfaces available in today’s market. With so many possibilities to choose from, it’s hard to know which options you should consider. Think about your budget, your design taste and how your family will use your kitchen before making your decision.
Granite has long been a favorite choice for countertops due to its beauty and ease of maintenance. Granite is a durable material, but like all surfaces, it does require regular maintenance. We sat down with several stone care experts to learn how best to care for granite countertops.