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Limestone architecture unearthed


AUSTIN - Have you ever walked downtown and looked, really looked, at the architecture of the buildings built in the late 1800s to early 1900s? These historical gems have one thing in common, stone. Yes, stone is a very popular commodity in construction today, but it isn’t always used in architecture as it was back in the day.



       There has been a resurrection in the use of ornamental limestone in building design.  Shaping of limestone goes back some 5,000 years.  The elements used to reach these designs are based on Greek architecture – Doric, Ionic, Corinthian  and Tuscan, and are still used in construction today.  Knowing how to design and write limestone specs into building design is no easy task.
    “The designer, builder, installer and supplier will need to work equally together,” says Katherine Teel, Marketing Director for Continental Cut Stone, a limestone fabrication mill in Florence, TX.  “They all have to know how to work with stone differently.”
    Understanding the types of quarrying and how the different sizes of limestone blocks relate to scaling in the design process is essential.  Milling the limestone correctly, using the proper limestone application for the type of limestone to be used is equally important in the design process.
    From the designer’s first vision, to the end results, designers work with builders, suppliers and installers to ensure the right stone is used.   Limitations of a type of limestone can effect creating architectural elements such as wall cladding, flooring, window or door surrounds.  Understanding  these limitations can make a big difference in the big picture. -cmw





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Carol Wiatrek meditor@constructionnews.net