2005 AAUP Public and Secondary School Library Selection
Look up at the Empire State Building in New York City and you will see an almost endless ribbon of soaring stone—Indiana limestone, to be precise. The Empire State Building, Pentagon, Chicago Tribune Building, and many university structures, state capitols, post offices, and churches in every state (and buildings in other countries) are constructed of this exceptional material, renowned for its durability, consistency, and capacity to accept and retain fine detail. When part of the Pentagon was destroyed after 9/11, an Indiana quarry went to work, mining 46 truckloads of limestone to be sent to the Washington site and enabling reconstruction to be completed ahead of schedule.
Limestone Lives pays tribute to the skill and dedication of the men and women who work with stone. It combines 79 striking fine art photographic images with engaging oral histories, representing a range of voices of the workers themselves. We hear from sculptors, drill runners, stone polishers, planermen, forklift operators, a union leader, and the president of a stone company. The book also features brief descriptions of the region’s stone companies, a map locating Indiana quarries and stone mills, and a look at how the industry has changed over the years.
Limestone Lives is a testament to men and women who take enormous pride in the quality of their work, as well as to the role this unique industry plays in creating buildings that last.