Part of my role within our company is to apply for Heritage Awards for projects we've completed that we feel meet the criteria of Saskatoon's Heritage Society. The last award Ryan Watson received was for his Design work and Masonry installation on the King George Hotel that includes two hand carved Indiana limestone door surrounds. Next time your at Swank Shoe Lounge or Cupcake Conspiracy, be sure to take a closer look!
This year I had the pleasure of submitting three applications. The first for our work on the historical Hopkins House on Saskatchewan Crescent, our Masonry Design and installation at Broadway Avenue and 11th that now houses freshii, Una Pizza, and Ryde yxe, and a total restoration to Taverna Italian Kitchen & Bar downtown on 21st. Ryan and I hit the streets last week with the board members and were proud and honored to show off our work at these three locations.
Above is the historical Hopkins House that we were asked to be a part of with Strata Developments. Our scope of work included replacing the homes disintegrating concrete stair treads, with Indiana limestone, each tread weighing in at 650 pounds. Indiana limestone was used on the original structure in 1910 for all of the window sills, lintels, and plinth details. We replaced all cement details including the homes sills, stair treads and capstones with Indiana limestone. We tore down the two brick posts at either side of the staircase, cleaned each brick piece by piece before re-using them to return the posts to their original state. Once the posts were rebuilt, we capped off each post with 1900 pound limestone caps.
We were very pleased when the home owner decided to use our recommendation of limestone for the bases of the homes ionic columns to replace the homes original rotten wooden columns. Next, we laid limestone flooring throughout the patio which starts at the front entrance and wraps around to the back of the home.
Above is our project at Broadway Avenue and 11th which was the old McDougall Gauley building.
Our scope of work here included designing, supplying, fabricating and installing eight Indiana limestone pilasters around the buildings facade at street level, with brick above each. The pilaster detail includes a combination of smooth and rock faced textures similar to centuries old masonry architecture style. Each pilaster is capped off with hand fabricated limestone mouldings.
We have designed and hand carved two street signs to be installed in the spring of 2018. One sign will be installed on the pilaster facing 11th street east and the other facing Broadway Avenue. These carvings will accompany two additional hand carved architectural details also installed this spring.
All stone fabrication was traditionally done on site by hand before being installed. Many of these Indiana limestone pieces used to build the pilasters weigh in at 280 pounds each. We also fabricated the moulding returns by hand on site prior to installation.
And last but certainly not least, our restoration to Saskatoon's oldest Italian eatery, Taverna Italian Kitchen & Bar located in the heart of Saskatoon on 21st Street.
Our scope of work included; a brick and limestone combination on the exterior including the following limestone detail; dentils, a greek key motif, rock faced pilaster bases, numerous stone moldings, two hand carved Indiana limestone signs using the traditional tools of the Stone Carving trade. The first hand carved sign is of the name of the building; AGORA with THYRSUS detail below. The second hand carved sign is a date stone; 1907 EST. to pay homage to the year the building was originally built. We also restored the lounge's fireplace to match the exterior as shown below.
Our Stone Carver and Masonry Designer, Ryan Watson had the pleasure of designing Taverna Italian Kitchen's fireplace. This Summer we installed the limestone and brick facade on the building's exterior (as shown below and throughout our website), so Watson chose to carry on the same vibe inside.
the original fireplace
the new Taverna
the old Taverna
Here is one completed Art Deco limestone panel for the restoration of the Chicago Board of Trade building. Walter S. Arnold of www.stonecarver.com carved seven of these in 2006, for a total of almost 50 linear feet. Our Stone Carver, Ryan Watson of Rocco Masons Corporation was honored to give him a hand on this project.
"This project came about for the most obvious of reasons - the building owners neglected basic preventative maintenance, and so they ended up needing a much larger job. They hadn't kept the stone work pointed, so water penetrated the walls, and freeze thaw broke down the old panels. Some of the panels were crumbling, de-laminating, missing chunks. An ounce of prevention was all they needed". says Walter S. Arnold of www.stonecarver.com
Since Watson's adventure to Chicago he's worked on carvings for clients in Philadelphia, South Carolina and throughout Canada to include his latest commercial carvings for the front of the beautifully renovated Taverna Italian Kitchen! For more click HERE!
Scaffold is down and the Taverna building's Masonry facade is a wrap ahead of schedule! This project was by far one of our most exciting projects to date since we had the opportunity to work with Owners of Taverna who hold the same passion and love for historical architecture as we do. Having Strata on board leading the way was also a bonus since their companies core values are much like our own.
Our scope of work included; A brick and Limestone combination on the exterior. Many gorgeous limestone details including numerous stone moldings, dentils, rock faced pilaster bases and to top it all off hand carved 'AGORA'/THYRSUS building signage and hand carved date stone to pay homage to the year the building was originally built. The interior includes a brick accent wall to greet customers as they enter the restaurant.
Ryan Watson was born in 1976, was raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and is proud of his prairie roots. He's a natural born artist in a trade that dates back to the beginning of civilization and uses the most modern tools to promote one of the oldest trades. Watson received a Diploma in Heritage and Traditional Masonry as well as Heritage Restoration, both from Ontario. From there he formed a Masonry company specializing in hand carved stone and restoration. In 2010 his company received a Heritage Award in Saskatoon for the hand carved entryways and Masonry work on the King George Hotel restoration project and continues to run a crew today.
Watson's gift in the art of hand carved stone has been proven time and time again with carving projects in Chicago, Philadelphia, South Carolina and all over Canada. With over 16 years of experience in the trade, Watson continues his dedication to the art by providing his commercial and residential clients with inspiration and an end-product unlike any other. He's keeping history alive by playing a key creative role in designing timeless stone facades on homes and buildings both inside and out. His extensive knowledge and artistic talent in old world craftsmanship offers his clients a unique Masonry Design each and every time. Want Reviews? Go to our REVIEWS page!
For more on this project and about our stone carver visit our website blog HERE.
Nicolene Watson, Co-Owner of Rocco Masons since 2013. "Nicolene is the brains behind the scenes at Rocco Masons. She naturally knows how to run a business. When she wants something there's no stopping her", says Ryan Watson, Nicolene's husband and the companies Founder & President. Since 2013 Nicolene manages the office and directs all aspects of the business including Accounts Payable/Receivable, Human Resources, Web Design, Marketing, Advertising and Social Media. "I finally found my dream career at fourty that fits me like a glove"!