14 Stone Carvings at Fordham University

Petrillo Stone has been contracted for work on 14 stone carvings at Fordham University. So far, we’ve finished the first carving, with the second following close behind. The carvings depict the life of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

Check out these photos of Ralph Petrillo and carver Michael Orekunrin:

The final 14 carvings will be put in a new building to be constructed this year at the Rose Hill Campus.

Recent Project at An Office Building in Times Square

Petrillo stone project office building in Times Square

We enjoyed this recent project, maintenance work on an office building in Times Square.

New York is home to so many interesting places, and nothing is more iconic than Times Square! We were so excited to restore the beautiful floor and columns in this lobby.

Besides the exquisite stone work, we appreciate this beautiful space, especially its natural light and interesting art sculpture on the ceiling.

Ralph Petrillo Celebrates 40 Years in the Family Business, Continuing a 111 Year Legacy

Ralph Petrillo
Ralph Petrillo, the co-owner of Petrillo Stone, recently celebrated 40 years in business, while his business is celebrating year 111. Petrillo’s grandfather, Antonio T. Petrillo, founded the company in 1907 after emigrating to Mount Vernon, NY from Italy. With him, he brought knowledge of traditional masonry techniques–the type of time-honored methods that set the craft apart. Even as masonry evolves, many of its aspects remain, some withstanding for longer than a century.

Ralph Petrillo describes his business as “a glue that binds three generations and their technologies, workmanship, and ideologies.” After founding the company, Antonio Petrillo passed his knowledge onto his son, Ralph’s father, who passed the knowledge onto Ralph and his brother Frank, who run the company today.

“It’s always exciting when I have the chance to replace stonework that my father or grandfather also worked on,” Petrillo said.

Despite much staying the same during his 40 years in stone, one big change Ralph has seen is the location where stone is manufactured. It used to all be cut at the same location as the project, but now it’s manufactured worldwide and mostly imported into New York City. And now that the industry encompasses a larger scope, Ralph and Frank are encountering challenges that their father and grandfather did not.

“The work is definitely getting more competitive, especially since we’re competing against factories in countries that have cheaper labor, water, property, and electricity,” said Ralph.

Ralph certainly has the experience to attest to changes in the industry. Even before he and Frank officially took over the business, they were steeped in masonry. Since they were children, they’ve been around stone.

“We grew up around masonry. We would often stop by the shop, even as young children, and see the workers there cutting stone. One memory that sticks out is when the shop was working on cutting stone for the Classic Roman Travertine for the Lincoln Center Buildings that were created in the 1960’s,” said Ralph.

According to Ralph, if we were able to compare the shop from the 60’s side by side with the shop from today, we would notice many similarities, but also many differences.

“We do have some new machines but mixed in with that are very old and important machines from many years ago. Styles are always changing, and we’re always making stone for brand new buildings, and buildings that are over 100 years old. Any style of building an architect can imagine, we can build,” said Ralph.

That tie between past and present is valuable to Ralph.

“One of my favorite things about my industry is how it connects the historic work from the past, with the things we’re currently working on, which will be around for future generations,” said Ralph.

Ralph says his favorite projects to work on are the more challenging projects, which Petrillo Stone is uniquely equipped to handle.
“We can fabricate and draft all types of natural stone work. Some of these kinds of projects are the tracery windows and Gothic Style arches in Keating Hall at Fordham University,” Ralph said.

In addition to having unique skills, the Petrillo brothers also pride themselves in a dedication to quality.

“We use 2 techniques to control the quality of the stone in the finished product. We use them at our shop, and most other shops do too. One other way is to have every stone reviewed by an expert before it ships out. Another option, that’s increasing in popularity is when the architect visits the factory to look at the completed stone work right on location,” said Ralph.

Besides carrying on the work of his father and grandfather, Ralph finds fulfillment in the opportunities he’s had to work on some of his favorite buildings.

“I have a few buildings I’ve always loved, and I’ve gotten to work on them recently and in the past. These include the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. We also recently supplied the New York Life Building with several new art deco stones,” Ralph said.

Since it’s been 40 years, we raise a question to Ralph: “Will there be a fourth generation of Petrillo Stone?”

For now, the answer is uncertain.

“I have 2 young girls, and Frank has 3 boys. It’s an interesting idea, but only time will tell,” Ralph said.

About Petrillo Stone Corporation

Back in 1907, Antonio T. Petrillo moved to Mount Vernon, NY from Italy. Ever since then, Petrillo Stone has exceeded standards of different builders, architects, and designers. Petrillo Stone Corporation fabricates, wholesales, installs, and imports limestone, marble, granite, and other stone products for the interiors and exteriors of commercial and residential buildings.

Another Favorite Stone Landmark: Machu Picchu

Beautiful view of Machu Picchu ruins on sunny day (Peru)It’s impossible to study masonry without falling in love with some of the ancient stone landmarks. These breath-taking, iconic structures withstand the test of time, many are hundreds of years old.

Not too long ago, I wrote about one of my favorite stone buildings, Edinburgh Castle. Another of my favorites is Machu Picchu, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru.

An Ancient Incan Artifact

From Quechuan, an ancient indigenous language, Machu Picchu translates to “old peak.” Historians believe it was built between 1450 and 1460, during the rule of two Inca rulers, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui and Túpac Inca Yupanqui.  Most archaeologists agree that Pachacutec ordered the construction of the monument as a testament to a military victory. It served as a royal estate for a ruler and about 750 support staff. However, 80 years later, the city was abandoned, most likely due to the downfall of the Inca empire.

Machu Picchu is located in the Andes Mountains near the basin of the Amazon, 2,430 m above sea-level. It’s a beautiful setting, and one of the most striking things about the structure is how seamlessly it fits into the landscape. Each year, it draws almost 1.5 million visitors.

To learn more about Machu Picchu, check out this article from National Geographic.

Custom Desktop and Countertop Project

We really enjoyed this project! We had the chance to customize a countertop and desktop in a client’s home. Both are made of custom-fabricated slabs of stone. The counter is quartzite, and the desktop is marble. These custom surfaces are functional and elegant, the perfect touch to this beautiful home.

counteranddesktop

Stations of the Cross

The stations of the cross and carvings were found in a Jesuit Monastery in Shrub Oak, NY which later became the Phoenix house. The property was recently sold and the marble carvings were a gift to Fordham University. Petrillo Stone dismantled, warehoused, stored, restored and installed at McGinley Hall, Fordham University Rose Hill campus. This project was overseen by both Frank and Ralph Petrillo.

stations of the cross

Ralph Petrillo Visits Lincoln Quarry

Earlier this year, Ralph Petrillo took a trip out to Lincoln Quarry in Colorado to choose blocks for a project with the Knickerbocker Club in New York. This quarry received its name after sourcing the stone used in the Lincoln Memorial. In the gallery below, you will find photos of Ralph Petrillo with the architectural team, the owner’s representative, the fabricator and the installer of the project. And your eyes are not fooling you — those are the Rocky Mountains in the background.

A Petrillo Stone Celebration

Our company Petrillo Stone Corporation recently celebrated a major milestone — the 80th anniversary of our work with Fordham University. Over the years, we’ve completed a wide variety of jobs ranging from assisting in the building of Keating Hall back in 1936 to the new 16 ft Fordham University Seal at the Lincoln Center campus.

You can read more about business relationship and the iconic projects we’ve been a part of in this press release. As Ralph Petrillo is quoted, “It is nice to know that we have been a small part of Fordham’s history and Fordham University has been a wonderful part of our history.”

Frank and Ralph Petrillo Celebrate a Company Milestone

If you haven’t heard, Petrillo Stone Corporation celebrated 109 years of business in 2016. The New York-based company was founded in 1907 by A.T. Petrillo and is now headed by his grandsons Frank and Ralph. To celebrate this accomplishment and family tradition, the Petrillo brothers shared part of the company’s history in a recent press release. Read the full article here.

“We’ve been involved in high end projects for as long as I can remember,” Ralph Petrillo said. “One of my first memories is when my father and uncle (John Petrillo and August Petrillo) had taken the contract for the fabrication of the travertine for Lincoln Center in NYC in our shop back in the 1960’s.”

For an idea of just how far this company has come, here are a few of our recent project photos:

The Lobby at 90 Park Avenue

Petrillo Stone Corp has been working on the lobby at 90 Park Avenue. Specifically, we installed and furnished a feature wall as well as side wall. Images of this work can be found at the bottom of this post. The stone is Travertine unfilled from Tivoli, right outside of Rome. The material was purchased from Carlo Mariotti in Tivoli. We drafted it, had it cut at Mariotti, and brought it over in a container. The stone was brought to the Petrillo Stone shop in Mount Vernon, laid out to make sure it was dry, and installed in the lobby.

The desk (seen behind Ralph Petrillo in the gallery below) is hand-selected Agata Gray marble from Carrara, Italy, supplied to Petrillo Stone by Armando Santucci. The architect is Dan Shannon, whom Ralph traveled with to Italy many times in the past year for the selection process. The contractor is Tishman Construction and the building owner is Vornado.

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