How Limestone Cladding Defined the Golden Age of New York City


The Big Apple Is One of the Best Places to See Limestone Cladding in Action

New York City is home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world. Many of these structures feature beautiful limestone cladding, most of which comes from Indiana. The state is known as the premiere source of bedrock limestone, which is used in buildings all over the world. You can see this stunning stonework all over the city the next time you visit. Learn how limestone cladding came to be the definitive feature of NYC’s architecture.

Many of the city’s best-known structures were built during the Gilded Age, or the period after the Civil War leading up to the turn of the century. The economic boon gave artisans and architects the freedom to bring their creations to life. The city was quickly becoming the epicenter of political and cultural life, and it needed the right buildings to prove it.

Famous buildings such as the Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Grand Central Station became the talk of the town at the time. Each one features sublime limestone cladding work that has lasted the test of time.

The Empire State Building

Perhaps the most legendary of the three, the Empire State Building has come to represent the power and excess of New York. It features over 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone and was completed in 1931. It was considered one of the largest architectural projects in history at the time, but the limestone cladding simplified the construction process. All the limestone you see on the exterior was prepared offsite. It was then transported to the construction site ready to be installed.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met has seen several different locations over the years, but nothing compares to its current Central Park location. It was completed in 1902 as was designed to rival the great museums of the world. The building has undergone various expansions and renovations over the years, but the original structure is still tucked inside the museum. Step inside and you will see stunning limestone cladding on both the new and old sections of the interior. The legacy of the architecture almost rivals the artwork it was designed to protect.

Grand Central Station

You can’t take a train in New York City without stopping by the historic Grand Central Station. Rail was once the preferred way to travel in the U.S. and Grand Central was easily the busiest station in the country for many years, until people started traveling on planes. The station was slated for demolition just a few decades after it was built, but famous residents of the time stepped in to save the iconic station.

The architects knew the station had to be able to withstand extreme weather. They also wanted a cost-effective building material that recalled the prestige of classic architecture. They eventually settled on Indiana limestone. The building underwent a massive transformation in 2004 after the city spent millions cleaning up the interior. They were able to get rid of the dirt and decay that had built up over the last 100 years, only to find the original limestone intact.

Limestone cladding has been used to create some of the most famous buildings in history. Consider adding it to your home to bring out the best in your property.