Bennett Springs Time Capsule

The Missouri State Parks system observed its 100th anniversary on Sunday and Phenix was honored to be part of the celebration.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary, the system commissioned a time capsule to be opened in 2117. Each of the state's 91 parks are represented in the time capsule by a variety of submitted objects. The deputy director of the parks, David Kelly, says, "There are lots of photos and letters to future directors or park superintendents, artifacts, patches. We put things in there like copies of our budget, copies of our social media stuff, cause we don't know what they'll be using technology wise then. It'll be interesting to look back 100 years on how we operated our system today. " (OzarksFirst)

The time capsule is located in Bennett Springs State Park, the oldest in the system, and features a custom Phenix Marble head piece.

Finished piece is 3" thick and 38"x38", solid slab of Fleuri cut Phenix stone.

Finished piece is 3" thick and 38"x38", solid slab of Fleuri cut Phenix stone.

The beautiful design was submitted by the State and engraved for us by the Monument Shoppe here in Springfield. The block was cut and hand finished at Phenix's fabrication shop and from there was delivered to Bennett Springs to be installed in time for the dedication.

We have no doubt that the time capsule will just as beautiful 100 years from now. Phenix stone is strong and resilient, and if there is any doubt, a quick inspection of any of the numerous 100+ year old buildings constructed with Phenix stone will provide all the necessary proof.

MO State Capitol Pt 3

The newly installed Phenix Marble stairs at the South entrance of the Missouri State Capitol were on full display at yesterday's gubernatorial inauguration. We know we've said it before, but we were so proud to be able to provide the stone for this Capitol renovation project and we don't think we're going to get tired of seeing those beautiful steps any time soon.

In previous posts we showed you the process for installing the stairs and pavers. Below is a look at the finishing and installation for the large pavers for the landing of the South Steps. Each of these pieces measured 61" x 62" x 6.5" and weighed 2,325 lbs. With the high density and resilience of our stone, we expect to see these in place for many generations to come. 

MO State Capitol Update

We're happy to announce that Phase I of the Missouri State Capitol renovation project is now complete. Not only is it complete, but it was finished ahead of schedule. Per a press release in the Missouri Times:

Phase I of the Missouri State Capitol renovation and repair project included:
o Renovation and repair of the exterior stone terraces, south steps, east steps, and east and west carriage drives which included a new waterproofing membrane to replace the system installed in the past which had exceeded its useful life;
o Repairs of the existing concrete substructure that had deteriorated over the years because of water penetration;
o Stone work where mortar and sealant joints had failed and were allowing water to infiltrate interior occupied space on the Governor’s upper terrace was repaired; and
o Repair work to the building terraces, which generally consisted of replacing or repairing: damaged stone; concrete support beams and slab; storm drains, waterproof sheet membranes; and joint materials.

Phenix was involved in the repair of the south steps and terrace and produced custom pieces for each. You can find pictures and more information about the project in our previous blog post from Oct. 17. We'll be sure to include more updates on this project as they become available.

Advertisements & Publications

Word of mouth is all well and good, but won't get you far when you're in the middle of the Ozarks trying to sell stone to the likes of San Francisco and New York in the early 1900s. When Phenix Marble Co. first began distributing across the country, they relied heavily on print advertisements in newspapers and especially trade journals to reach their audience. Publications like Stone: An Illustrated Magazine and Architect and Engineer featured articles about quarries, professionals, new or notable projects and other trade information. They were also major advertising platforms for producers and merchants of all kinds. Here are two examples from Stone. (All available digitally through Google Books)





The prevalence of Phenix stone and Napoleon Gray across the country is proof enough of its popularity and successful distribution, but this letter from the president of Phenix to Stone shows the surprising reach of its advertising. Unfortunately we have no further knowledge of the lead from Manilla. The international scope of Napoleon Gray remains unknown.


As was the common style, many of Phenix's advertisements in these trade magazines featured large images of completed Phenix stone projects. The following three examples are from the San Francisco based journal, Architect and Engineer. (All courtesy of the online archive of the San Francisco Public Library)

Many of the ad campaigns were directly linked to Phenix's relationship with their distributor, Tompkins-Kiel. The company regularly published ads that highlighted one or several of the wide variety of stones they carried. Sometimes they were as simple as a list of products available through Tompkins-Kiel and sometimes a large image of a grandiose hotel or lobby comprising an array of their represented stone. Beyond advertising in various publications, Tompkins-Kiel also produced their own materials for distribution. Two such booklets have been digitized by Peggy Perazzo and are available on her invaluable site, Stone Quarries and Beyond. The two booklets (linked below) are, respectively, a photographic catalog of the stones and materials available through Tompkins-Kiel and a catalog devoted entirely to Phenix's Napoleon Gray and highlighting many spectacular examples of its use throughout the country. 

Naturally, our present marketing plan for Phenix varies some from the advertising methods of the early 20th century. As we try our best to make use of the new digital media tools available to us, one strategy remains the same - let the beauty of the stone speak for itself. 

Phenix SLT Ad 1.jpg