Meet The Craftsman – Part Two- Profile Fred Hernandez

Operation Peter Pan (Operación Peter Pan or Operación Pedro Pan) is a codename of the CIA project, in course of which over 14,000 Cuban children were sent from Cuba to Miami by their parents after rumors were spread that the Cuban government led by Fidel Castro will soon begin taking children against the wishes of their parents to military schools and to Soviet labour camps. The operation took place between 1960 and 1962, and was designed to transport the children of parents who opposed the revolutionary government, and was later expanded to include children of parents concerned that their children would be shipped to Soviet labour camps.[1] With the help of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami and Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh , the children were placed with friends, relatives and group homes in 35 states including Florida.

Alfredo Hernandez was one of those children and he grew up with relatives in Miami, Florida. Fred who is now 50 – has two grown children Fred Jr & Jessica. Fred Jr. works alongside his father learning the trade. Standing at 5’3 inches Fred has the swagger of John Travolta, the potty mouth of Al Pacino in Scarface and the stature of Danny Devito. He started his career as a CDL driver and moved on to become a certified electrician. These skills were essential building blocks for his current position as Shop Foreman. I caught up with Fred this week to grill him with questions. Between his chainsmoking & occasional grin here is a recap of what I was able to extricate:

A: What was your favorite job to supervise?

F: Disney, Golden Oaks.

A: Why?

F: The architect had a clear vision of the look he desired & worked with our team on the best way to achieve it. He was open to suggestions & the proess.

A: What do you like best about your job?

F: The travel. I have enjoyed working in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, & Jamaica. I want you guys to sell a project in Europe now.

A: What do you like least?

F: The hours because they take me away from wife Alieda & my grandchildren.

A: What about your 2 previous jobs prepared you for your current role?

F: My work as a truck driver helps me point out to the owners how much time deliveries should take & who doesn’t embrace our time sensitive culture quickly. My work as an electrician helps me figure out machining issues & fix them before they spiral out of control. And my Cuban work ethic keeps the guys underneath me motivated. You work as hard as your boss does. I pitch right in and I dont mind getting wet. And I value the guys who do the same thing.










Hand Carved & Polished Planter

These gorgeous hand crafted planters were cut out of Mexican sisal stone. They are 17 inches tall. Cad plans can be provided to architects.

They were hand polished. Larry’s Cap Rock and Stone can carve anything you can imagine. We also are the only company in Florida south of Jacksonville with a CAD Cam package that allows us to digitally scan a historical piece and recreate it in cad exactly. Bellisimo !




Meet the Craftsman

It occurred to me that I tend to write a lot about the products but not about the men who craft the intricate stone. I will profile these gentlemen in the coming weeks.

But I thought I would start with Ryan Albregts who is the talented CNC programmer who labors each day to create works of art. Ryan programs the only operational 5 axis CNC south of Jacksonville, Florida. Working in wet conditions Ryan resembles a Viet Cong war veteran after a day at our fabrication facility.

Ryan took on the position in early 2009 after 3 unsuccessful attempts to locate a CNC programmer in Miami that was familiar with stone and working with 3d modeling software.

Although Ryan’s studies at University of West Florida were focused on finance and economics, he is a self taught programmer. Ryan has traveled extensively to many quarrying regions including but not limited to the Dominican Republic, Turkey, Italy, the Southeastern United States.
His extensive knowledge of stone and it’s properties is tapped regularly by architects and landscape architects.

Ryan prefers to be behind the scenes focusing on creating his next masterpiece.

I caught up with him and peppered him with a few questions:

A: What has been your most challenging piece to date?

R: There are actually a few. But I would say the one that took the most time to develop was a set of compound arches.

A: What do you like most about your job?

R: Each day I learn something new.

A: What do you like least about your job?

R: I would have to say the after effects left on my clothes. My wife would agree.

A: What is challenging about fabricating in South Florida in particular?

R: I think many craftsmen in South Florida find it difficult to communicate the immense amount of time and attention to detail what we do takes. South Florida is a very time sensitive and price sensitive market relative to the North East or California. We strive together to provide our clients accurate lead times and the lowest costs but many of them struggle because they expect timeframes typically associated with cast stone. With costs many times we are being compared to fabricators who don’t offer the same level of service we provide. Those costs and any costs associated with delays are difficult to communicate to the person focused exclusively on the bottom line. There is a certain amount of comfort one can take in visiting our facility in the United States, and checking the progress of their job. If dealing with a new competitive company, culture, language, country, or legal system there are very few protections for the end consumer if something is fabricated wrong or changed midstream. Those errors have costs associated with them difficult to communicate for anyone who has not worked with architectural stone before.

A: What inspires you?

R: That’s easy, my family.

A: Do you have any mentors in the field?

R: I have a few but would say Chris Reid, previously of CMS Brembana provided the most initial guidance when I first began working with the machines.

Ryan is not available via phone because of safety concerns. But if you need technical assistance or advice he can be reached through email.


RELAX @ Element Program – Presented by USGBC South Florida

Upcoming event information:
RELAX @ Element – A Program Presented by the

Miami-Dade Branch of the USGBC South Florida Chapter

Element Miami Airport Hotel, 3525 NW 25th Street, Miami, FL 33142
Date: 29 Mar 2012 5:30 PM

RELAX @ Element Program Presented by the Emerging Professionals of the USGBC South Florida Chapter

RELAX @ Element! Brought to you by the USGBC SF Miami-Dade Branch’s Hospitality Committee. Receive an educational tour of the NEW Element Miami Airport Hotel – Certified LEED Silver and then RELAX: the brand’s signature spin on the quintessential “happy hour.” Enjoy the complimentary 90 minute reception featuring carefully selected food and beverage pairings.

Tour Starts @ 5:30pm

Limited space is available (max 25-30ppl)

Special Thanks to Our Sponsor: Element Miami Airport Hote

To learn more about this unique program, check back here or spend some time going through the Miami-Dade Branch’s e-newsletter.

In addition to a top-shelf green-building education program, the event will feature:

Exceptional networking opportunities

Delectable Edibles

Our Branch programs are FREE to USGBC members, and non-members are charged a nominal $10 admission fee to help cover meeting costs. To join the USGBC South Florida Chapter, click here or you can join prior to the program.

Please come out and join in … and bring a friend! The more you get involved with the Branch’s activities, the greater the wealth of contacts, resources and information that are available to you, including workshops and webinars tied to securing LEED accreditation.

The Brilliant Economics of Green Buildings – Adapted from Forbes

Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone offers a wide variety of LEED certified stone. Please consult with your salesperson regarding the residential or commercial project you are working on so he or she can provide you with the LEED documentation necessary for your project.

The Brilliant Economics of Green Buildings – Forbes

Say what you will about the benefits of clean energy or the costs of pollution, the jury has returned an unambiguous verdict on the greening of the commercial real-estate market. The niche has become mainstream. Anyone who says green buildings, which are certified by third-party verifiers as demonstrating superior environmental performance and resource efficiency, are “boutique” has not been paying attention.

The commercial buildings sector boasts the most explosive growth in green building. In 2010, a third of all new commercial construction was green, amounting to a $54 billion market for commercial green buildings. By 2015, green buildings in the commercial sector are expected to triple, accounting for $120 billion to $145 billion in new construction and $14 billion to $18 billion in major retrofit and renovation projects.

But not all commercial buildings are the same. For all practical purposes, there are three classes of commercial buildings – Class A, Class B and Class C. These classifications are commonly used as a proxy for a building’s ability to attract high-value tenants.

While there is no standard definition for what qualifies as Class A, Class B and Class C commercial buildings, the Building Owners and Managers Associationsuggests considering the following criteria when classifying commercial buildings:

Class A: Most prestigious buildings competing for premier office users with rents above average for the area. Buildings have high quality standard finishes, state of the art systems, exceptional accessibility and a definite market presence.

Class B: Buildings competing for a wide range of users with rents in the average range for the area. Building finishes are fair to good for the area. Building finishes are fair to good for the area and systems are adequate, but the building does not compete with Class A at the same price.

Class C: Buildings competing for tenants requiring functional space at rents below the average for the area.

In other words, Class A buildings are the most desirable and Class C buildings are the least desirable from the typical tenant’s perspective. Greater desirability means more money. It turns out Class A is where the green paradigm has achieved the deepest penetration.

“Green building is fundamentally altering real estate market dynamics – the nature of the product demanded by tenants, constructed by developers, required by governments and favored by capital providers,” according toRREEF Research. “The upshot will be a redefinition of what constitutes Class A properties and even institutional-quality real estate.”

The predicted “upshot” is rapidly becoming a reality in Manhattan‘s commercial real-estate markets, which is dominated by Class A properties. InManhattan, Class A office buildings account for 61% of the total market. Class B buildings make up 26% of the market and Class C accounts for the remaining 13%, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

While stricter government regulation may ultimately make green buildings the de-facto standard for new and renovated buildings in the future, tenant demand is the primary reason why green buildings are becoming mainstream in today’s Class A commercial real-estate market.

“At Hines, we specialize in Class A space, and we’ve reached the point where clients don’t think it’s Class A unless it’s green,” said Jerry Lea, the Executive Vice President of the real-estate investment and management firm.

Many tenants are willing to pay a premium for space in green buildings because of the lower operating costs, higher worker productivity and reputational benefits associated with the superior environmental performance of green buildings.

If the past presages the future, today’s green buildings market is chump change compared to the opportunity likely to come down the pike over the next decade. To put the scale in perspective, in 1995, the total floorspace of U.S. commercial buildings – 58.8 billion square feet of floorspace – exceeded the total area of the State of Delaware and amounted to more than 200 square feet for every U.S. resident.

Talk about a sea of green.

A Bouillabase Of Installations – 2008


I was checking out a bouillabase recipe and it got me thinking about many of the pictures that dont make it on our catalogs.

The name bouillabaisse comes from the method of the preparation – the ingredients are not added all at once. The broth is first boiled (bolh) then the different kinds of ingredients are added one by one, and each time the broth comes to a boil, the heat is lowered (abaissa).

The reasons for lack of inclusion of the bouillabase of photos vary. They include resolution of photo, whether the installer paid us, and the positioning of the picture. 2008 was a banner year for receipt of install photos. You would be surprised. Trying to get landscapers, architects, or general contractors to submit pictures is almost as difficult as extracting teeth.

As always if any of these are appealing to you- just check with Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone so we may provide the stone type, landscape architect, recommended installer, and pricing. We endeavor to carry a wide variety of stones in stock. But we can offer significant savings on special order items too.


The Miami Limestone (formerly the Miami Oolite) is a Pleistocene marine limestone. It occurs at or near the surface in southeastern peninsular Florida from Palm Beach County to Dade and Monroe Counties and in the keys from Big Pine Key to the Marquesas Keys. The Miami Limestone consists of two facies: an oolitic facies and a bryozoan facies. The oolitic facies consists of white to orangish gray, oolitic limestone with scattered concentrations of fossils. Ooliths are small rounded grains so named because they look like fish eggs. Ooliths are formed by the deposition of layers of calcite around tiny particles, such as sand grains or shell fragments. The bryozoan facies consists of white to orangish gray, sandy, fossiliferous limestone. Beds of quartz sand and limey sandstones may also be present. Fossils present include mollusks, bryozoans, and corals.

The most prevalent form of oolite is southern Dade county oolite because of the available rural land. Southern Dade county oolite is characterized by white. Gables oolite or graveyard stone is characterized by deep crevices & rust veining. It is available in limited quantities & because of its porosity can not be hatchet faced in thicknesses less than 3 inches. Oolite is tempermental and requires expert installation, skills that exceed those of most commercial or residential tile layers. Please refer to Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone for recommended installers, installation methods, and product specifications.







Abuelitos Of Architecture

I bet you can’t guess the oldest known element of architectural stone.. columns.

The column is 4600 years old. The earliest known existing columns originated in Persia and were built between 400-500 BC. These columns were referred to as Persepolis columns.

The ancient Greek and Roman civilizations expanded upon the Persepolis columns with the classical orders of architecture. These classical orders are referred to as Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Each order has a distinct style with the Corinthian the most intricate.

Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone fabricates each order of columns. We use state of art technology combined with hand craftsmanship to create distinctive architectural stone elements for your residential or commercial property. You can observe the progress at our state of the art fabrication facility in South Florida.









We Are Products Of Our Surrounds

My husband calls me a marketer’s dream because I can recite many of Oprah’s quotes. One thing she has said that really stuck with me is that your house should rise to greet you.

Larry’s Cap Rock and Stone creates natural stone window and door surrounds to compliment any decor style. Please refer to our catalog or if you need a custom quote please ask for Allyson Humphries.

Our state of the art technology is enhanced by our old world carvers whose dedication and craftsmanship is evident in every piece of stone they touch.










Save The Date – May 18, 2012




Friday, MAY 18, 2012

Nursery Tour 8 am – 5 pm

Expo / Lunch 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Tour departs / returns to Books & Books – Coral Gables

SPACE IS LIMITED. RSVP to: 305-248-1117

Nursery Tour RSVP will be billed $10 per person

Note: FNGLA will not refund or credit any cancellations or no-shows

Sponsorship opportunities available

To sponsor call Kathryn or Mary: 305-248-1117