The Palladium, White House, Pentagon, Empire State Building and the Biltmore mansion share a distinct attribute. They are constructed of limestone harvested from Indiana, as are 35 of the nation’s state capital buildings. Understandably, Bedford Indiana was considered the limestone capital of the world for years.
It’s a favorite material of architects, “greenies” and construction teams worldwide driven by its soft nature, ease of cutting, copious supply chain and strong durability. I suspect those attributes were appreciated in 2,600 B.C. as thousands of slaves struggled to assemble the Great Pyramid. It remained paper white and smooth as glass until Arabs began “repurposing” the limestone exterior for mosques and other buildings.
PATIO. WALLS. SLABS. BRIDGE.
The organic history lends credibility to its inspired modern use. We love sourcing limestone in patios, retaining walls and as large slab steps in the landscape. Its immediate footprint is green friendly and, as the featured photos reflect, can be employed to formalize or naturalize.
The formal cut limestone wall and stately columns, repeated elsewhere in the estate, lends a textural counterpoint against the surrounding landscape, aged red clay paver auto court and brick / mortar historic home. Limestone is respectfully featured around this property in a mini quarry outcropping. Native seating blocks rescued from the Indianapolis Museum of Art envelop a rustic, decomposed granite fire-pit patio tucked in a hidden corner of the backyard.
Limestone slabs behave nicely as petite stepping-stones or as a massive bridge over a stream or dry creek bed. It seamlessly combines textures, colors and the formal with the informal is thrilling. It encourages repetition and surprise.
There is something curiously romantic aboutIndianalimestone whose capacity is limited only by our brilliance. The historic and majestic quality of limestone prompts an instant respect for any outdoor living space.