Jerusalem Stone

With Christmas right around the corner I thought I would explore Jesus’ birthplace and the stone that is derived from Jerusalem.

Jerusalem stone (Hebrew: אבן ירושלמית, even yerushalmit) is a name applied to various types of pale limestone, dolomite and dolomitic limestone, common in and around Jerusalem that have been used in building since ancient times. One of these limestones, meleke, has been used in many of the region’s most celebrated structures, including the Western Wall.

Jerusalem stone continues to be used in construction and incorporated in Jewish ceremonial art such as menorahs and seder plates. In 2000, there were 650 stone-cutting enterprises run by Palestinians in the West Bank, producing a rich range of pink, sand, golden, and off-white bricks and tiles.

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What Is Limestone?

Slate and limestone also have water in common, at least when it comes to their formation. Slate is found in the ocean; likewise, limestone is found anywhere an ancient sea existed and can even be comprised entirely of marine fossils. Limestones are sedimentary rocks that form from the layering of silt and organic matter over time. The pressure and heat from the accumulation of layers results in chemical reactions that harden the sediments into solid stone.

Sometimes limestone is purely calcite from skeletal remains of marine life, but depending upon the nature of the silt (i.e., “impurities” like clay, sand, and iron oxide that may have contributed to its formation), limestone can vary in color, from the predominant grey color of many limestones to browns, yellows, or reds. The presence of carbon in the silt can also make limestone appear blue or black. Also, depending on the methods of formation and the types of deposits that accumulated, limestone can be found in crystalline, clastic (composed of fragments), granular (like sand), or massive slabs. This makes it a highly varied stone useful for many modern applications.

Limestone is typically composed of calcium carbonate, so it is soluble in acid. When crushed, it is soluble in water. As an alkali, it is great for adjusting the pH in a garden for vegetables that prefer less acidic soil. Limestone is also used in the water industry to soften water. It is employed in dyes (it is used to make paper white) and as an additive in paint, as well as in everyday items that we put into our bodies like toothpaste and antacids as a filler. It is also found in many of our favorite foods as a preservative and as a source of calcium, an essential mineral in our diets.

More commonly known uses of limestone are as aggregate or base for roads and foundations and for purification in many industries – to purify steel, to purify molten glass, and even to purify sugar. It is essential in other kinds of manufacturing as well: brake pads and wools for clothing also utilize limestone. One of the most common uses is in the production of Portland cement, which is the most common type of cement in use around the world. Limestone is the basic ingredient for concrete, mortor, stucco, and grout.

Because limestone is found in abundance and is easier to cut in comparison to some other natural stones, as well as because it is long-lasting and resistant to weather fluctuations, it is often found in the manufacture of buildings, either as building blocks or for facades. Limestone City in Canada actually derives its name from the sheer number of buildings made from limestone there!

Limestone certainly has many faces, but it finds a spot in our hearts for its uses in indoor and outdoor, commercial and residential applications. Its muted tones, whether polished or honed, are fit for bathrooms, fireplace facings and mantles, countertops, and flooring. (Limestone is very porous, so it doesn’t turn aside stains as easily as some other natural stones; therefore, when it comes to countertops and flooring, it must be finished and sealed properly or placed in areas that are less active.) Limestone slabs and tiles are also suited for landscaping applications in patios and walkways . They are especially eye-catching when defining garden borders, as both a salute to nature and a nod to limestone’s nutritional pedigree.

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Has Historic Preservation Become A spectator sport?

Editor’s Note: Today’s Guest Blog is from our friend, Charles Birnbaum, from The Cultural Landscape Foundation. His post was originally featured in the Huffington Post and he was gracious enough to allow us to repost it on our blog. Typically we feature visually inspiring posts – eye candy for our readers. But every now and then we think its important to tackle a weightier subject. We all need to be challenged by new concepts, the intent behind our creativity and output, and our impact on the world around us. Charles’s thought-provoking blog provides just this – it’s long, but definitely worth the read.

Nostalgia is suddenly under siege — particularly in the guise of historic preservation. Nostalgia, once roused by the demolition of New York’s Penn Station, was a great motivator in saving Grand Central Terminal. Today, however, the form of nostalgia we know as historic preservation is getting beaten up on all sides. (This strikes me as ironic at a time when Woody Allen is finding commercial success with his dreamy and nostalgia-laden Midnight in Paris). National and state level budgets are being shredded, a recent exhibition at the New Museum in New York City demonized it, and recent pieces in the New York Times offered convenient and strange characterizations of its intent, import and impact. Mind you, the modern historic preservation movement isn’t a blameless victim and certainly suffers from many self-inflicted wounds. But, this pile on is unprecedented, and more troubling, people seem to be content to sit on the sidelines and watch the slaughter (if they even bother to care).
Now for a quick detour/confession to provide some context. Whenever I’m in New York’s Theater District I’m reminded of The Great Theatre Massacre of 1982, recalling the demolition that year of the Helen Hayes (originally Fulton), Morosco and Bijou theatres to make way for the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

I was a landscape architecture student at Syracuse back then and journeyed down to New York on People Express Airlines (remember them?) for $29 (really!) and joined a rally Save the Theatres had organized. After singing America the Beautiful, a bunch of us were carted away, though not arrested, in a paddywagon (which I shared with Lauren Bacall, Jason Robards and Christopher Reeve).

Now, nearly three decades later I look at that 45-story hotel and know we’re no better off. Does that make me nostalgic? Perhaps. Do I wish those theatres were still here? Absolutely!
So let’s examine what’s happening. Consider this: the historic preservation movement has helped save such treasures as Acoma Pueblo, President Lincoln’s Cottage, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, the homes of Edith Wharton, Mark Twain and Harriet Tubman, as well as the Star-Spangled Banner and the World Trade Center Model. Various grass-roots groups and organizations were involved, but all of these aforementioned projects have one thing in common, all are recipients of symbolically and strategically important grants from Save America’s Treasures (SAT), a public-private partnership between the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation launched in 1998 that has leveraged federal dollars to raise millions more to do what its title suggests, save America’s treasures. Well, SAT got shafted in the current budget and, after an enviable legacy of successes, will be forced to shut its doors on June 30. Oh, and Preserve America has also been kicked to the ground.

A good example of state-level antipathy can be found in Texas where Governor/ersatz-presidential aspirant Rick Perry plans to eliminate the Texas Historical Commission. According to the non-profit Texas Public Policy Foundation’s recommendation: “at a time when we are trying to make difficult decisions about preserving certain services to Texans, funding for programs like courthouse preservation is not the state’s top priority.” Perhaps the greatest irony in all of this is that these recent cuts are due in part to the Tea Party Movement’s success in the last election — the same folks parading around in tricorn hats waxing nostalgically and loudly, about the Founding Fathers and America’s roots.
Over at the New York Times, soon to be departing architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff reviewed the Rem Koolhaas-curated New Museum exhibition Cronocaos. In An Architect Fears that Preservation Distorts Ouroussoff writes that Koolhaas, “paints a picture of an army of well-meaning but clueless preservationists who, in their zeal to protect the world’s architectural legacies, end up debasing them by creating tasteful scenery for docile consumers while airbrushing out the most difficult chapters of history. The result, he argues, is a new form of historical amnesia, one that, perversely, only further alienates us from the past.” Ouroussoff, it seems, concurs.
In her New York Times op-ed rebuttal Death by Nostalgia, author Sarah Williams Goldhagen writes, “instead of bashing preservation, we should restrict it to its proper domain. Design review boards, staffed by professionals trained in aesthetics and urban issues and able to influence planning and preservation decisions, should become an integral part of the urban development process.”

Follow Charles A. Birnbaun on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/TCLFdotORG and learn more about The Cultural Landscape Foundation on their website.

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Demolition of the Morosco Theatre, 1982, courtesy Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects P.C.

Red & Green Stone

 

 

 

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Oh the weather outside is frightfully hot. We need a cold artic blast to get us in the Christmas spririt. The holidays are around the corner. And I notice in my week of Christmas blogging I had nary a picture of Red & Green stone. So today lets think beyond our typical balmy tropical hues & go dramatic. Red & Green. Most are granites, in case you are wondering.  

Let your dedicated Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone representative assist you in selecting the perfect stone to compliment your holiday decor or your everyday decor.

30 Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas

30 Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas

Writen by Bogdan / 4

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Christmas is coming and the shopping fever is in all of us. We all ran to find the most beautiful gifts to impress our friends but have you ever thought how much gift packaging can count? A gift can produce a much greater joy if is packed super nice. Below you can see 30 examples of beautiful packaging for your inspiration.

Credits marthastewart.com.

 

Christmas Exteriors – South Florida

I am a traditionalist. Call it purist. I like my simple white lights & candelabra. They accentuate my green granite boulder and white beach pebbles. But I envy those house on Old Cutler or in Coral Gables that can decorate with panache and color at Christmas time. I am scared of color. I suppose that is why I love David Bromstad. Aside from his adorable personality, his dramatic use of color inspires me.

I have assembled some inspiration if you are looking for the perfect Christmas exterior. There are many companies that specialize in assembling & disassembling your Christmas decorations if you cant get your significant other off the couch.

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Funky & Quirky Christmas Trees ala Miami

It’s never too late to offer up new ideas for Christmas Tree decorations (unless you’re a down-to-the-last-minute kind of person) but here are some fun ideas for this year or next year.  Even if your a purist like me and prefer old-fashioned live trees, there’s always space for a little fun, funkiness and glam in your holiday decor!ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Holiday Tablescapes

 

The holidays are almost upon us and its not too late to put the finishing touches on your gathering table.  A place of community and conversation, your holiday table is also a reflection of your family’s personal style.  Today we offer up six different looks that are reflective of 2013 design trends presented in our annual forecast, ranging from the traditional to the unconventional.

Elegant, sophisticated and ornate, this table delves into the annals of history to merge various eras and aesthetics and then mixes things up, elevating and improving, to create surprises in an understandable yet refreshing way. Integrating heritage items and family treasures with new materials and finishes modernizes your tablescape and develops a gathering place with a timeless quality.

Simple and clean, this  table features a white aesthetic but also incorporates a full range of classic yet refreshed neutrals that are appropriate for today’s attitude. The feeling is effortless but focused, not done in a careless manner, but chosen and put together with uncomplicated ease, creating a sense of order and subdued luxury. The overall effect creates a table that is quiet and reserved but the end result is a flawlessly elegant, relaxed mood that is more contemplative than showy.


Mid-Century Modern continues to make a strong play in decor and this table returns to the 1950′s and 1960′s for inspiration. On this table we try to evoke memories of childhood, incorporate retro styling with the timeless appeal of mid-century looks and iconic goods, revamped with a streamlined look.

Emphasizing nature is important on this table. Raw materials, intricate patterns, rich colors and inspiring textures of our natural environments translates into a tablescape of luxe ruggedness. The result is a rustic aesthetic revisited with a modern sensibility. It honors the beauty in the flawed and the primitive, the marriage of natural and manmade, and creates an eco-sensual elegance that is nourishing and authentic.

This holiday table values the art of modest living and emphasizes the sublime poetry in ordinary, everyday things. Decor celebrates the essentials of life, turning to forgotten values of comfort, function and tradition. The vocabulary speaks of indigenous products, an earth-conscious perspective, and minimal style where each piece is as chic as it is functional.

On this funky table, individuality and originality reign. Mix and match styles, colors, textures and eras. This is your opportunity to express your creativity and self-expression – anything goes!

 

LIMESTONE COMPARISON

Limestone Comparison
10/26/2012
  density thickness max dimension weight compressive psi local finishes color shells  
OOLITE very porous 4″-10″ 28″ x 60″ 100 lbs / ft3 Not Tested Yes Saw cut, Trench cut, Filled yellowish, dark iron deposits None
FLORIDA KEYSTONE porous 1″ or 2″ or custom 28″ x 28″ 110 / ft 3 650 Yes Roughback, Sawcut, Filled,Honed white, ages dark grey Brain Coral
DOMINICAN CORALINA (DOMINICAN KEYSTONE) porous 3/4″or 1-3/4″ or custom 48″ x 48″ 130 lbs / ft 3 2200 DR Chiseled edge,Filled, Brushed, Splitface, Sawcut, Honed yellow – recent quarries are yellower Fan Shells
HEMINGWAY (DENSE OOLITE) dense 1”, 1.25”, 2” 24 x 36 130 lbs / ft 3 2200 Yes Snap Cut, Rough Face, Smooth Face, Brushed Face cream or gold Some – Conch Tight Structures
INDIANA KEYSTONE very dense 1″, 2″, custom 90 x 48  140 lbs/ ft 3 4000 Indiana Sawcut, Broached, Abrasive, Rockfaced, Bush hammered buff, full color blend, silver buff, gray variegated None
CALCAIRE very dense 2-9″ 14″ x 28″ 140 lbs/ ft 3 3700 Yes Saw cut  Gray with Iron Brown Movement Some – Conch Tight Structures