To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the University of Saskatchewan’s Great War Commemoration Committee is soliciting donations for the creation and installation of a memorial bench dedicated to the men and women of the campus who served our country from 1914 to 1918.
The Great War exacted a heavy human toll on the University of Saskatchewan. Of the 345 students, faculty and staff who enlisted, 69 "passed out of the sight of man by the path of duty and self-sacrifice." About 100 were wounded. 35 were awarded medals of valour.
This past summer Ryan Watson, ROCCO MASONS Co-Owner, Stone Carver & Masonry Designer was approached by a member of Saskatchewan’s Great War Commemoration Committee. Watson was honored when he was asked to design and carve a limestone bench in memory of those who served our country. He immediately went to work and over the next few weeks, designing what eventually became what you see here. After months of anticipating the possibility of carving Saskatoon's Great War memorial, we were extremely delighted to learn that the project was approved.
Once carved the bench will be installed at the south end of the plaza between the original campus residences. It would have been a place familiar to all who volunteered for duty.
Any and all donations are welcomed with the committee's goal being $20,000. Any funds in excess of that amount will be transferred to the general scholarship fund of the University of Saskatchewan. Donors will receive a charitable donation receipt. For more on the GREAT WAR CLICK HERE and to donate click on the button below.
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.
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!
"No job is too big or too small for these hard working boys! Thank you Rocco Masons for installing the 800 lb Italian fountain in our backyard. Job well done!!
We also were honored when The Schwandt's asked our Stone Carver & Masonry Designer, Ryan Watson to design and carve them an angel for their entryway, along with the homes exterior Masonry! For a time lapse of this hand carved Indiana limestone guardian angel click on HERE!
"We couldn't be happier with the results of the work done by Rocco Masons. With Ryan's help, we achieved the look we were hoping for. We are doing a renovation to our 100+ year old character home on Queen St. Our goal was to spruce it up while paying respect aesthetically to the traditional appearance of our home.
I've always loved angels! After giving Ryan an idea of what I would like to have, he went to work to design and carve a beautiful piece that we are proud to embrace as part of our home. She is an amazing work of art - Ryan is a truly talented artist.
Ryan and the boys also installed the beautiful stonework on the front entrance stairway and to the front exterior of the house. The job was done professionally and in a timely manner. They gave us a date for completion and it was done on time!
Thanks to Ryan, Nicolene and the boys for their knowledge and exemplary customer service".
Janette & Bill Schwandt
The original owner of this three piece fountain purchased it from a store in Edmonton, AB who imported it from Italy. It was fashioned after the baroque fountains in Rome who used fountains to supply drinking water, while providing a decorative and dramatic effect.
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"!