Limestone Restoration Finds Ancient Roots in Chicago

We came across a fascinating article in the Chicago Tribune recently. It told that the beautiful limestone some of the city’s prominent turn-of-the-century buildings use for windowsills and steps actually contains fossils of sea creatures that lived over 300 million years ago. The article follows Terry Gates, a research associate with the Field Museum’s Geology Department, through the city as he points out various fossils in the limestone, and tells the story behind how the creatures got there.

Knowing the history and science behind the various types of stone we work with is important. Sungloss Marble Restoration Company has been working with Granite, Limestone, Marble, Travertine, Slate, Terrazzo and many other types of stone for over 20 years now. We need to know as much as we possibly can about the stone—the chemical composition, the hardness, and other properties—to successfully work with it. Whether it be grinding, polishing, cleaning, honing, or sealing, the more we know, the more efficient and valuable our service is, and we pride ourselves on building our knowledge and experience over the years and deliver that value to our customers.

Terry Gates explains that around 1900, limestone quarried in Indiana was a popular choice for Gilded Age homes along Lake Shore Drive or Progressive Era buildings including the Pittsfield Building. It got us thinking, how much of the stone around us in Chicago was quarried around us in the Midwest versus elsewhere? The environmental impact of shipping stone a few hundred miles versus across the entire globe is a huge plus, one which is now recognized through the awarding of LEED points. There’ll be more on that in future blogs. We applaud Terry on his interesting article, and encourage our customers to explore their curiosity when they are examining the stone in their stone lobbies, halls, bathrooms, stairs, windowsills, and the like—you might find ancient creatures that lived in Illinois millions of years ago staring up at you!