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   xoxoxoBruce  Monday Apr 3 10:49 PM

Indiana Stone

Apr 4th, 2017: Empire State Quarry
Quote:
Some of the finest limestone in the United States - and possibly the world - can be found in the hills around the southern towns of Bloomington and Bedford, and in the previous century stonecutters turned extracting it into a science, and shaping it into an art.
The stone was in such demand that a massive industry cropped up around it, and hundreds of thousands of tons of mammoth stone slabs were carved out of the ground and shipped around the country. A shocking number of iconic American structures are made out of Indiana limestone, including the Empire State Building, the Washington National Cathedral, the Pentagon, and 35 of the 50 current state capitol buildings.

Quote:
Unfortunately, in the second half of the 20th century, stone masonry fell out of favor as preferences shifted to glass-and-metal skyscrapers that were cheaper to build and maintain. This dissolution of the limestone industry left many southern Indiana towns impoverished, as they are to this day. Their plight was fictionalized in the 1979 Dennis Quaid film “Breaking Away.” Now all that remains of many of the limestone quarries are massive, eerie rectangles etched out of the earth and speckling the otherwise pastoral countryside.

Quote:
The most famous of these quarries is the Empire Quarry, which provided the 18,630 tons of stone needed to construct the Empire State Building. The quarry is so long and so deep, one can imagine the entire Empire State Building lying within it, refilling the 207,000 cubic feet of empty space now left vacant.
It's a shame how technology has left some communities and resources behind. But that's what they call progress.
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xoxoxoBruce  Monday Apr 3 11:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Apr 4th, 2017: Empire State Quarry
Quote:
Some of the finest limestone in the United States - and possibly the world - can be found in the hills around the southern towns of Bloomington and Bedford, and in the previous century stonecutters turned extracting it into a science, and shaping it into an art.
The stone was in such demand that a massive industry cropped up around it, and hundreds of thousands of tons of mammoth stone slabs were carved out of the ground and shipped around the country. A shocking number of iconic American structures are made out of Indiana limestone, including the Empire State Building, the Washington National Cathedral, the Pentagon, and 35 of the 50 current state capitol buildings.


Quote:
Unfortunately, in the second half of the 20th century, stone masonry fell out of favor as preferences shifted to glass-and-metal skyscrapers that were cheaper to build and maintain. This dissolution of the limestone industry left many southern Indiana towns impoverished, as they are to this day. Their plight was fictionalized in the 1979 Dennis Quaid film “Breaking Away.” Now all that remains of many of the limestone quarries are massive, eerie rectangles etched out of the earth and speckling the otherwise pastoral countryside.

Quote:
The most famous of these quarries is the Empire Quarry, which provided the 18,630 tons of stone needed to construct the Empire State Building. The quarry is so long and so deep, one can imagine the entire Empire State Building lying within it, refilling the 207,000 cubic feet of empty space now left vacant.
It's a shame how technology has left some communities and resources behind. But that's what they call progress.


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Gravdigr  Monday Apr 3 11:16 PM

...the hell?



SPUCK  Tuesday Apr 4 12:48 AM

Striking and beautiful ponds they make.



DanaC  Tuesday Apr 4 04:14 AM

Beautiful



Griff  Tuesday Apr 4 07:23 AM

Quarrying is still big business here in NEPA, but bluestone is usually used for pavers and countertops. The Starucca Viaduct is bluestone, but folks don't build like that anymore. It is tough work for tough people. They used to be the scariest drunks in the local bars but with the influx of Mexican gas workers the fights evened up.

Pennsylvania Bluestone



Snakeadelic  Tuesday Apr 4 08:22 AM

Old quarries like that can be sooooo awesome. Mythbusters used to love having a quarry or two within "trailer full of experiment stuff" hauling range, because unless they're artificially stocked they contain no fish.

I wouldn't entirely be surprised if worldwide changes in demand lead to a couple of quarries re-opening (and lots being evaluated for production potential). A lot of people want durable, exotic architectural stone. Also, the infamous marble quarries that produce statuary-quality Carrara (a/k/a Carrera) White and similar highly prized stone are, after many hundreds of years in operation, running out! I read a rumor online, and then I asked "the old dudes" who are the backbone of the gem & mineral club and they said YUP. Now that it's becoming more widely known that Stonehenge is made of a bluestone (they think they found the original quarry, or one of them anyway), other bluestones will probably be in much higher demand among history buffs and those who are really into certain metaphysical fields.



Snakeadelic  Tuesday Apr 4 08:25 AM

Also, the weird opaque green-blue of the water in the pics is highly characteristic of limestone anything. I never understood why limestone was ever popular as an architectural stone, considering that it erodes under moving water faster than anything else but soft sandstone! The color of quarry water depends on what minerals leach out from the surrounding stones.



Clodfobble  Tuesday Apr 4 03:24 PM

Most of the big buildings around here are limestone because we have so damn much of it, including all the original buildings at the core of the University of Texas. Once our physics professor brought a Geiger counter into class to put next to the wall and show us that Texas limestone is naturally radioactive, at safe but definitely measurable amounts.



Clodfobble  Tuesday Apr 4 03:26 PM

Also, my comment from the other thread where this was initially placed by Late Night Bruce:

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
Now all that remains of many of the limestone quarries are massive, eerie rectangles etched out of the earth and speckling the otherwise pastoral countryside.
And someday far in the future, archaeologists will marvel at how we ever could have made such precise cuts in the rock, and presume that the steps must have had some religious significance...


Gravdigr  Tuesday Apr 4 04:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakeadelic View Post
...because unless they're artificially stocked they contain no fish.
Quarries can contain fish without being 'stocked'.


footfootfoot  Tuesday Apr 4 06:19 PM

Yep. True.



DanaC  Tuesday Apr 4 06:57 PM

Nowhere near as grand, but I really like this quarry picture, from Shepley, not so far from me. There's quarrying all over this region.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Apr 4 09:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravdigr View Post
Quarries can contain fish without being 'stocked'.
Birds bring them in. Land Sharks use them to for a place to teach their young to say candygram.


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