Stone Discoveries: Statuary Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln sits, enthroned, in his memorial. The seated figure depicts a colossus of history: one who united, amidst its greatest struggle, a nation divided. I am appropriately humbled, as though in the presence of an idol. But the Lincoln Memorial, the definitive Beaux-Arts masterpiece of the great architect Henry Bacon, and his final project – enthralls me for another reason… I am taken with the striking luminescence of the imposing marble exterior.

This material is, in fact, very special. Owing to the localized geology of the quarry near Aspen, Colorado where the stone, now known as Statuary Lincoln, is produced, the material is 99.5% pure calcite. As a result, it bears a complex and unique grain structure with a smooth texture, as well as that brilliant glow that captured my attention. To help make this material more readily available to the A&D community, I traveled to Marble, Colorado, to visit the storied Yule Marble Quarry.

Yule Marble, of which Statuary Lincoln is the highest grade, was discovered in the Crystal River Valley in 1873 by Sylvester Richardson, a geologist. Prospector George Yule rediscovered the material one year later. Samples were cut, polished, and taken to Denver, but they generated no interest, and so the marble became lost once again. Ten years later, prospectors digging into Whitehouse Mountain for silver and gold entered the Treasure Mountain Dome and discovered a thick marble vein. Thus began the transition of a mining town to one of quarrying marble. While nearby Crystal and Schofield were virtually abandoned, this town, later to become known simply as Marble, was thriving, as it still is today.

Quarry Workers Hitching a Ride

Quarry Workers Hitching a Ride

As I descend into the working quarry, the surrounding atmosphere is mystic; the sights I behold: breathtaking, stunning, and unique. I see large, white marble walls, walls bearing that distinctive glow of the material produced by this quarry: dramatic of aspect, stunning, and immense. To the ceaseless hum of quarrying equipment, saws and generators, I begin to explore, as though in a plane removed from the realms of reality. In the Yule Marble Quarry, I find myself in a one of a kind place unseen, I know, and unheard of, by most people.

The grandeur of the quarry, and a sense of its rich history, flood my senses. I am guided through this maze of earthly treasures to the Lincoln Gallery: named for the inimical memorial of which its material is constructed, it is a large section of the quarry that is unlike any other, producing a material that is undeniably beautiful and more consistent than most.

The natural stone currently on view at ABC represents only the finest rocks on Earth. Procured from 6 continents, ABC has truly moved mountains across oceans to bring the finest stone on Earth to the A&D community. Statuary Lincoln is among the most popular for the construction of monuments, including the Lincoln Memorial, for which it is named, the Washington Monument, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It has also been incorporated in a number of historically significant structures, including Hearst Castle, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and we are honored to bring it to you.

Structures incorporating Statuary Lincoln marble, and the quarry today:

ABC Stone proudly presents… MA’s Concrete

BastideRoses004 At ABC Stone, we are constantly searching the world for the most unique offerings to present to our venerable clientele. It is now our great privilege to announce that we have been chosen as the exclusive North American distributor of MA’s, an ultra-thin decorative concrete widely used in Europe for more than 25 years, but never before available in the United States.

MA’s is a bespoke product; guild labored, and installed by specially trained and certified artisans. It is a waterproof cement micro-topping that lends itself to modern, seamless, one-of-a-kind interiors, exteriors, and many different finishes.

ABC is delighted to share our passion for contemporary design and our unwavering commitment to cutting-edge excellence. Beautiful projects start with an inspired vision and we are honored to be your partner as ideas move from concept to visually stunning reality.

MA’s Concrete Fact Sheet Download (PDF)

Learn more about MA’s

See what MA’s can add to your projects

ABC Stone brought expert MA’s installer, Joseph Peisley, to the US from France to certify and train our artisans in a week-long intensive course. We now have 8 specially trained installers ready to turn your vision into reality.

15 Landmark Buildings by Architect Eero Saarinen (from Architectural Digest)

Eero Saarinen was born in 1910 in Finland and emigrated to the U.S. in 1923. The architect started his career with an apprenticeship and partnership with his father—prolific Art Deco architect Eliel Saarinen—and went on to become one of the most important designers of the 20th century. VIEW THIS ARTICLE at Architectural Digest.

ICFF NYC 2016: What’s New and What’s Next

ICFFICFF NYC 2016, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, centerpiece of NYCxDESIGN/Design Week, New York City’s official citywide celebration of design, took place from May 14th to the 17th, at the Javits Center in Hell’s Kitchen. This year the fair was attended by 33,000 interior designers, architects, retailers, distributors, facility managers, developers, manufacturers, store designers, and visual merchandisers. ICFF has, in its nearly thirty years of existence, come to be renowned the world over as a spectacular presentation of high-end design, as well as a showcase for emerging voices in the A+D world.

For this year, the ICFF exhibition floor was expanded by 30%, from 2015, and the Fair featured exhibitions of over 150 new brands on two floors and over 165,000 net square feet. In addition to which there were panel discussions, including Design Trends: A Multi-Perspective View of the Year Ahead, moderated by Bill Indursky, founder of Design Life Network; and the prestigious ICFF Editors Awards, awarded to the best of the year’s design in 11 categories by a panel of judges which this year included Spencer Bailey of Surface Magazine, David Dick-Agnew of Azure, Amanda Dameron of Dwell, Annie Block of Interior Design, and Paul Makovsky of Metropolis.

See some of our favorite moments from the show:

Stone Discoveries: Grand Antique d’Aubert

Discovery of the Quarry (Escavamar)

Discovery of the Quarry (photo: Escavamar)

It is already warm at the cusp of daybreak, and I find myself full of a familiar anticipation. I am led by my guide, Émile, into the historic Roman quarry of Grand Antique d’Aubert, a place left peaceful and undisturbed for seventy years. A proud French rooster crows in the distance as I finally behold the site, the reason for my journey: timeless; looming massive in its historical import, beauty, grandeur and storied past.

While I have ostensibly come here to procure a marble last seen almost a century ago, I am suddenly aware that I am witnessing the excavation of history. The timeless nature of the quarry and its fruits evoke a feeling of awe. I see around me the hand of God laying down layer after layer of beauty in motions that span from the beginning of time, and I hear the echoes of the distant past, the long silent rumblings of the earth spewing forth its bounty from a time before man.

Émile tells me that the Ancient Romans were the first to work the quarry and called the stone ‘marmum celticum’—Celtic marble,—and I am inspired to recall those Iron Age chieftains who once presided over this fertile region of southwestern France, some two-thousand years before it came to be known as Ariège. The Celts were among the first in history to produce steel and iron, thus pioneering that great leap forward in the development of human civilization. Similarly, here in this quarry, I am witnessing man’s incredible spirit at work. I consider the thought process of our distant relatives as they decided to dislodge this rock from the mountains which birthed it. I consider how they truly must’ve believed that nothing was impossible.

The Tomb of Joseph Napoleon

The Tomb of Joseph Napoleon

Émile explains that though this quarry has just recently been reopened after more than 70 years lying dormant, some of the great structures that this marble adorns still stand strong. The imposing statue of St. Peter at Westminster Abbey, the doleful tomb of Joseph Napoleon, the columns of the Tarbes Cathedral, the stately Diana Salon, of Louis Le Vau, in Louis XIV’s grand appartement in the palace of Versailles; the St. Louis Chapel at Les Invalides in Paris; and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

No matter how many times my work brings me to a quarry, I am freshly struck by the genius of the men who learned to live and work with the unimaginable weight and size of these blocks of stone in a time before the machinery of today allowed it to be moved about with relative ease. It occurs to me that the digging out of this marble, Grand Antique, and the incredible revitalization of this abandoned quarry is owed to more than the mere mechanics of stone quarrying: it is man’s eternal attempt to truly capture in architecture and design, the true art that is nature.

The natural stone currently on view at ABC represents only the finest rocks on Earth. Procured from 6 continents, ABC has truly moved mountains across oceans to bring the finest stone on Earth to the A&D community. I am proud of my work today… the bundle of Grand Antique slabs that I took part in purchasing is the first sold directly to the United States in 70 years. And we are honored to bring it to you.

Grand Antique closeupGrand Antique Slab

Structures incorporating Grand Antique marble:

An evening to honor the recipients of the 2015 Carrara Residency Merit Award

For the past 5 years, ABC Worldwide Stone, in cooperation with New York Academy of Art, has sponsored a stone sculpting Artist Residency in Carrara, Italy, as part of its ongoing commitment to promoting the use of stone in artistic practice. Based at Corsanini Studios, located at the foothills of Apuan Alps, the Carrara Residency exposes students to the global art world, helps cultivate lifelong relationships, and hone their craft in an immersive environment.

On April 20th, The Carrara Residency celebration and unveiling was held at ABC Stone’s Brooklyn showroom and warehouse to honor the 2015 recipients of the Merit Award, Marco Palli and Joshua Henderson.

Trained in Civil Engineering and Business administration, Marco Palli has always seen the world in a mathematical way. A multidisciplinary artist, Marco found his way to sculpture after pursuing in-depth explorations into music and literature. Palli describes his creative process as “Meditating about happiness.” At this year’s celebration, Marco unveiled his sculpture Transparent to transcendence, which he characterizes as a conceptual self-portrait. “The piece revisits my own culture,” he says, “exposes my roots as a Catholic man who has perhaps lost his own identity.”

Joshua Henderson was born in 1986 as one of seven siblings, in a small town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. After studying art at Southern Utah University, and receiving his BFA in 2013, he attended the New York Academy of Art, where he received an MFA with a focus on sculpture. He is a two-time recipient of the Carrara Residency Merit Award. 1st Witness, which was unveiled at the celebration, is part of a series of ten stone carvings which he describes as, “expressing the two-sided nature of things that brings us comfort.”

Other esteemed artists on view included Barry X Ball, Stephen Shaheen, Barbara Segal, Michael Kukla, and Alasdair Thomson.

We would like to thank Wild Dogs International ( for the spectacular projections and lighting they provided, the band ZS ( for the stellar performance and DJ set, Elliot Goldstein ( for perfectly capturing the festivities with immense style and aplomb, and our amazing wine sponsor for the second year running, Maison Belle Clare (