Page 19 - May Slippery Rock Gazette
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       Slippery rock Gazette
The Stone that Saved St. Augustine
 For our next installment of how different civilizations have creatively used stone down the centuries, I had my BFF stick her hand in the “conti- nent bowl” and pull one out. She pulled out North America. The first thing I thought of was Mt. Rushmore out in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The thing is– most everybody knows about Mt. Rushmore. I wanted something different, something not everyone knew about. I think I found it.
Let me introduce you to Castillo de San Marcos. It is a star fort with a Spanish-sounding name located in St. Augustine, Florida. There was a time (over two cen- turies ago-1513 to 1763), when Florida was under Spanish rule. It was during that time the fort was built. It was originally built from wood, but after the fort became heavily damaged by a pirate raid in 1668, they turned
Sharon Koehler
Artistic Stone Design
numerous rooms for various uses like storage rooms, a guard room and powder magazine. Castillo De San Marcos is considered the oldest masonry structure on the mainland United States.
In today’s times, none of this may seem like a big deal. I mean we build skyscrapers every day, but remember: no electricity, no electric saws or drills, no calcu- lators for the math, no computers for ANYTHING, no trucks, no CNCs. Just brainpower, manual labor, manual kilns and coquina stone... lots and lots of coquina stone. Just to make things more interesting, the coquina stone wasn’t even at the fort site. It had to be shuttled over from a barrier island just off the Florida coast.
As I mentioned, the decision to use coquina stone for the walls
 Award of Excellence
                Commercial Interior
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Tampa, Florida
Natural Stone Institute Member Company
Booms Stone Company Redford, Michigan Stone Installer
Other Project Team Members
Duncan G. Stroik Architect
Stone Consulting
di Roberto Pagliari & Co. Stone Supplier
Bybee Stone Company
Exterior Stone Supplier
Talleres de Arte Granda, S.A.
Marble Tabernacle
Stone (all marble) Arabescato
Rosso Francia Bianco Carrara Giallo Reale Breccia Violetta Bianco Carrara Venatino Nero Marquina Rosso Verona Giallo Siena
Rosso Levanto Verde Issorie Bardiglio
Judges Comments:
The more I look at, the more I am rewarded. This is not some- thing we do anymore. It’s all about the jewel-like altar. Like pieces were plucked from a ba- silica. The jury appreciated the loving care in the unexpected detailing, including non-jointed columns. Reminiscent of Old World craftsmanship.
Carrara, Italy, with intricate classi- cal carving.
Sourcing and fabricating four nine-foot-tall Rosso Francia high altar columns and pilasters as sin- gle pieces required a dedicated effort. Below a three foot tall tab- ernacle is an octagonal tempietto fabricated in Spain from Bianco Carrara Venatino marble. To ground the large interior volume, a Bardiglio marble wainscot ties the interior spaces together.
Reflecting the principles of geometric order, verticality, and tectonics, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is built in a timeless style so that it can contribute to the ac- ademic and spiritual formation of students for the next hundred years.
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   another more durable material to rebuild... Coquina Stone! I don’t know whose idea that was origi- nally, but I hope they got a medal, or knighted, or richly rewarded because that was a brilliant idea.
The first coquina stone blocks were laid at the site in 1672 and construction was completed in 1695. There have been renova- tions since then, as well. The coquina stone walls are 30 feet high and 12 to 20 feet thick, with four bastions, and covers about 20 acres. On top of all that, the fort is not your average four wall square or rectangle. There are 20 outer walls (it is a star fort, after all). Plus, the interior had
a hollow square with four di- amond-shaped bastions, built of native Florida coquina stone over a period of 23 years. It is the oldest masonry stone forti- fication in America.
of this fort was brilliant, although it is thought that they probably used it because it was available, and not for its unique protection properties.
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LContinued from page 17 ocated on a newly formed quadrangle at the center of Jesuit High School campus, the 900-seat Chapel of the Holy Cross was designed as a tran- scendent space for sacred liturgy and for daily convocations of the student body.
The façade features a limestone portico with 24-foot-tall Doric col- umns. The triglyphs in the six-foot- tall entablature are interrupted by a carved and gilded inscription in the center of the frieze. The façade has a monumental central doorway and two side doors framed in lime- stone. A six-foot-tall hand-carved limestone escutcheon is located above the central door.
Atop the chapel, an octagonal lan- tern articulated by eight Corinthian columns rises 125 feet to a gold cross, which is illuminated at night.
The rectangular exterior encloses an octagonal interior. Four shrines on the diagonals feature paintings of martyrs from around the world flanked by Rosso Levanto and Verde Issorie marble columns with Carrara marble bases. Carved Verde Issorie palms are displayed on the front of the four Arabescato marble altars.
The sanctuary floor is designed as a classic tessellated pattern comprised of Rosso Verona, Bianco Carrara, and Nero Marquina marbles. The raised sanctuary features both a free- standing altar and a high altar com- posed of Arabescato marble from
  The fortress of San Marcos is

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