Cut Stone News
Cut Stone Company Reflects on 30 Years of Classic Craftsmanship
The Highland Park town hall features cut stone from Continental Cut Stone (photos: Continental Cut Stone)
Thirty years ago, a young 27-year-old alumnus of Highland Park High School and Vanderbilt University with an engineering management degree found himself in the cut stone business. With the help of family members, Rob Teel, was able to purchase a foreclosed stone mill in Florence, Texas, and turn it into Continental Cut Stone, one of the best and most sought-after stone facilitators in Texas.
So what is cut stone and why should CandysDirt.com readers care? Because we not only tell you about homes, but we want you to learn something new about them.
Cut Stone vs. Cast Stone
When trying to attain the look and feel of classic and historic architectural features such as trim, ornaments, or facings of buildings, there are two main types of products builders use today: cut stone and cast stone.
Large blocks of Leuders limestone or Cordova Cream are cut from quarries
Cast stone is made from white or grey cements, manufactured or natural sands, crushed stone or natural gravels, and colored with mineral coloring pigments. The material is poured into a mold to create the desired look.
Cut stone starts as a block of stone that is then refined (by hand tools or machines) into the desired shape.
Both products give homes and buildings depth and elegance. Cut stone, being a natural material, is considered easier to work with, and has the ability to be sawn, sanded, honed, polished, tapestry (sand blasted), rock faced, and split faced.
Each piece of limestone used here was taken from the quarry of Continental Cut Stone
Continental Cut Stone is a nationally recognized Architectural Cut Stone Specialist company that serves the needs of commercial and home builders. The company has received a number of local and national awards for their designs and products, but what owner Rob Teel is most proud of is the family-like atmosphere and culture of the company.
What began in a 5,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Florence, Texas, has grown into a campus more than 16 acres with a 15,000-square-foot plant to handle all their orders. Currently they have over 65 employees in the mill, the Leuders limestone quarry, and the Cordova Cream quarry.
Marrying old world craftsmanship with automated equipment allows Continental to deliver almost any design
“I love the entire process,” exclaims Teel. “I’ve been doing this for a long time but it’s still fun taking a huge block of stone and making it a beautiful finished product.”
Recent projects include the George W. Bush Library in Dallas, and the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin.
They have also been a part of countless home projects in the D/FW Metroplex and throughout the state of Texas. One Fort Worth-based home project began as a simple window sill job and turned into an opportunity that spanned 10 years at a cost of $3 million dollars.
Future of Stone Work
As with other artisans in the construction industry, the biggest issue that Teel sees is the shallow pool of qualified and motivated workers. Many of their 65 employees have been with the company for decades and have become very talented at their craft.
“It’s not the easiest job for sure,” explains Teel. “If you are in the quarries, it’s hot and dusty pretty much all the time. The jobs in the mill take many years to perfect, but our goal is to help make visions turn into reality and it’s a rewarding venture for sure.”
With talent and desire like that who knows, maybe Continental Cut Stone will continue for at least another 30 years!
It’s a wrap! Four projects head on to State…
An evening of stimulating conversation and enthusiastic applause can only describe the 2017 CTMCA (Central Texas Masonry Contractor’s Association) Golden Trowel Awards Banquet held at the Renaissance Hotel, in Austin. Continental Cut Stone and Continental Quarries are thrilled to have been a part of the design teams for 4 award-winning projects. We appreciate our architects, Josh Coleman and his Page team and our mason, C.W. Oates, for the Golden Trowel award-winning UT Dell Medical School Education and Administration Building. We are also appreciative to Jackson and McElhaney Architects and Brazos Masonry for the award-winning Pioneer Bank project. Additionally, we appreciate V2R Masonry and Brinkley Sargent Wiginton for their attention to detail with the Waco VA Hospital restoration project and P & S Masonry, along with sculptor James N. Muir, for the Texas A&M Cenotaph. Where luxury meets outstanding accomplishments, this year’s CTMCA Golden Trowel Awards Banquet was at capacity with many of the outstanding companies in masonry design. Thanks to all who participated and we’d like to give a special recognition to our designers for their use of these long-lasting, timeless masonry products.
Pulling Back the Curtain on Limestone Architectural Design
An Institute of Architecture and Arts (ICAA) Event. A wide range of designers come together in Florence, Texas to bring their creative minds to the forefront. A day packed with learning how their imagination is transformed into Limestone Architectural Elements for their clients is enhanced with a tour of Continental Cut Stone’s Limestone Fabrication Mill. The day ended with their itching, creative hands ready to tinker on limestone hosted by Texas Carved Stone and Bartlett Stone.
A 72” saw sings, pneumatic hammers ping, what better way to support the ICAA (Institute of Classical Architecture and Art) and earn 3 CEUs (required credits for design licensing and accreditation). The day in the life of the design community runs into the wall of deadlines, distractions and mind-cramping design detail that weakens the creative spirit.
This past Saturday, April 22nd, the ICAA gave remedy to this slow path to the doldrums for right brainers by offering a day to tickle their creative juices. 30+ attendees came from as far away as Illinois, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio to expand their knowledge base under the tutelage of 90 + years combined experience of stone fabrication, design and carving experts in the Limestone Production and Design business.
The day started with a tour at Continental Cut Stone in Florence Texas, a limestone fabrication mill. Rob Teel, President and Founder, presented “Concept to Delivery”. Key takeaways included a better understanding of the types of quarrying and how the different sizes of limestone block relates to scaling in the design, limestone applications, LEED point discussions, shop drawings and best practices with more cost effective cuts to expensive designs, etc. A mill tour followed with a full demonstration of cutting limestone blocks that were as big as a small car to form into architectural elements.
Next, a quick trip to Texas Carved Stone for a light lunch and hands on stone carving. Bob Ragan of Texas Carved Stone, Matthew Johnson of Bartlett Stone and Stuart Simpson of Austin Stone Carving were delighted to share their stone carver expertise as they watched over and guided the attendees. Casual discussions ranging from designing in stone to installing fireplace over mantles were heard throughout the day. Participants who wanted to try their hand at carving grabbed a pneumatic carving tool and cut out their way to their own designs in stone!
Thank you to Texas ICAA board, Austin Chapter Steering Committee, Bartlett Stone and Texas Carved Stone and Continental Cut Stone for “Pulling Back the Curtain on Limestone Architectural Design” and thank you for all those who took a Saturday to come out. We know you have other things to do on a Saturday and so appreciate you taking time to come out for some fun and, sometimes, mind expanding activities.
Article by Katherine Teel, Marketing Director for Continental Cut Stone
The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School Health Learning Building Featured in Texas Architect
Photo By Dror Baldinger for Texas Architect
We were so excited when we learned that the UT Austin Dell Medical School Health Learning Building was going to be featured in the January/February issue of Texas Architect. We worked with C.W. Oates Masonry and Page Southerland Page on this truly unique project.
We worked closely with Page to create the unique trapezoid-shaped stones using our automated milling machine. The machine worked around the clock seven days a week for more than nine months to produce these custom pieces out of our “Armadillo” Texas Cordova Cream limestone, which is the same stone that has been used on all of the University of Texas at Austin’s buildings for 80 years.
The future of medical education, care and research is taking shape at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, the first medical school in nearly 50 years to be built from the ground up at a top tier Association of American Universities (AAU) research university. We are honored that we were able to be a part of making the vision for better health in Austin, and Travis County, a reality.
To read the feature article, click below:
Collective Learning: Texas Architect Magazine
Continental Cut Stone and Continental Quarries are excited to announce the addition of Kelsey Richardson to our team as our new Account Representative!
Kelsey Richardson is beyond excited to join the team at Continental Cut Stone; a company that she believes “rocks”! Kelsey looks forward to making a positive impact on the company as our Account Representative – Outside Sales person.
Natural limestone designs, the people, and the industry are just a few essential components that have contributed to what she has envisioned as her career of choice. She loves being a resource for Architects, Masons, Designers and the building community at large. From concept to installation, Kelsey has the experience and drive to help move Continental Cut Stone projects forward. Continental Cut Stone is in its 30th year in completing new projects like George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, UT Dell Medical Center and Austin’s new Central Library as well as Court House restorations and High End Residential Projects.
Kelsey was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to Austin in 2001. She attended Texas State University – San Marcos and received a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree, with an emphasis in Interior Design. Shortly after college Kelsey joined forces with a few others to create a home staging company in Austin and surrounding areas. Energized by working with clients, she established herself as one to meet and exceed her clients’ expectations.
Kelsey entered the design world as an Architecture and Design Specification Representative for a distributor in Central Texas. Kelsey quickly learned she has a true interest and passion for building materials. She has enjoyed being a resource for Architects and Designers and looks forward to further building upon these relationships, and creating new ones. Kelsey is looking forward to applying her skills from her background in sales and design towards her new position with Continental Cut Stone and Continental Quarries.
She takes enormous pride in her company’s and client’s satisfaction and is excited to be part of the family. She looks forward to working with all of you!
Exciting News for Continental Cut Stone
Continental Cut Stone will be involved in the construction of the new UT Dell Medical Center in Austin. This project has started and they anticipate needing stone in mid 2015. This is a tremendous opportunity and will be fabricated from our Cream Quarry.
Continental Cut Stone is excited to be involved in several residential projects. Historically we have focused on this market and have done work in several parts of the U.S.. We have recently finished projects in Palm Beach, Florida and Napa Valley, California. We have active homes in New Orleans, L.A. and Natchez, MS.
Continental Cut Stone strives to provide for a discerning clientele.
Expansion of Capabilities
Continental Cut Stone is moving into the 21st century with a recent purchase of a new Park Industries CNC Infinity machine. After our expansion in 2008 provided us space for this machine, we held off until demand warranted the addition of this machine.
We are very excited to step into the world of automation as we continue to improve our facilities.