From Georgia Quarry to Mayo Building: “White Gold” #ThrowbackThursday

In April 1966, the first marble for the Mayo Building addition was hung at the 11th floor level on the west side. Five months later, this phase of construction was virtually complete. Workmen stood on a screened platform, which was suspended from the 19th floor and raised to the top as work was completed. The 4½ courses of stone needed to enclose a floor rest on an angle iron bolted to the structure. The bolts can be seen (in the last photo at the end of the article) extending from the eight-inch masonry, which enclosed the steel structure. Also visible are the stainless steel anchors (just to the left of each clamp). These fit into top and bottom of pre-drilled holes in the marble slabs.

Enough marble was stockpiled at each level to enclose the floor. Each slab was coded to indicate its position in the building face. A cart to move the stone to the hoist was specially designed for this project by George Jones, Stocke and Co., superintendent. An electric hoist positioned the slab, which rests on the stone below it about three inches from the concrete face.

The photographs (below) of the Georgia quarry are courtesy of FRIENDS magazine. Photos at the Mayo Building are by William Newman.

In Long Swamp Valley they call it “white gold.” The Georgia Marble Company, which has been quarrying marble since 1884, claims there’s enough left to last 30 centuries. It promises builders a perfect match for later additions, a fact of some importance in planning the Mayo Building addition.
In Long Swamp Valley, they call it “white gold.” The Georgia Marble Company, which has been quarrying marble since 1884, claims there’s enough left to last 30 centuries. It promises builders a perfect match for later additions, a fact of some importance in planning the Mayo Building addition.
Wedge holes are drilled into marble with a “gadder,” then workmen drive wedges that force marble to split into blocks of pre-determined size.
Wedge holes are drilled into marble with a “gadder,” then workmen drive wedges that force marble to split into blocks of pre-determined size.
That’s a 15 to 20 ton marble block that’s being lifted from the quarry. It will be moved to a shop where it’s first rough-sawed, then sliced with high-speed diamond saws to pieces as specified in orders. Most of the marble facing the Mayo Building is 3 inches thick.
That’s a 15- to 20-ton marble block that’s being lifted from the quarry. It will be moved to a shop where it’s first rough-sawed, then sliced with high-speed diamond saws to pieces as specified in orders. Most of the marble facing the Mayo Building is three inches thick.
Corner stones which weigh 1,000 pounds are nearly double the weight of the 3-inch stones. Here, a corner stone is placed on the penthouse on top of the 19th floor. A hand-operated hoist, hooked to pins driven into the marble, lifts it into position.
Corner stones, which weigh 1,000 pounds, are nearly double the weight of the 3-inch stones. Here, a corner stone is placed on the penthouse on top of the 19th floor. A hand-operated hoist, hooked to pins driven into the marble, lifts it into position.
Marble hanging on the south side of Mayo Building viewed from the 13th floor.
Marble hanging on the south side of Mayo Building viewed from the 13th floor.
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Alyssa Frank

Alyssa Frank is a Marketing Associate at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She supports marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Alyssa has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2015.