Since the first organized quarry opened in 1827 in Stinesville, Indiana, just west of Bloomington, Indiana Limestone has earned its title as the Nation's Building Stone. Its warm neutral color and ease of shaping, combined with its amazing durability, has made it the product of choice for governmental, educational, commercial and residential buildings alike.
The industry has produced buildings that have been in constant use for more than 100 years. Requiring only the occasional re-pointing of joints and, if desired, periodic cleaning, Indiana Limestone is virtually maintenance-free. Add in the sound technical information provided by the Indiana Limestone Institute and our members, and you can't go wrong using Indiana Limestone.
Other materials, in particular some of the foreign stones, are often marketed without sound technical data and with no track record in the applications for which they are being used. Architects and owners using materials of this type are at risk, as failures can be devastating and expensive. Whether or not you use Indiana Limestone, make sure the material you are specifying is suitable for its intended use and that there is accurate technical data available so that the project can be designed to perform as intended.
There are also many man-made materials available that market themselves as "stone." These, like all concrete products, may develop shrinkage cracks over time, and many have reinforcement rods that can rust. Many also have coloring agents that can fade over time. Indiana Limestone is a 100% natural material that develops a patina and improves in appearance throughout the years.
If you want to use natural stone in your project, make sure that's what you are getting by asking the supplier for data on where the material is quarried, etc. And feel free to call ILI or our members, as most are happy to do comparisons between various products and Indiana Limestone.
Finally, don't believe the hype from some of the makers of competing products and simply assume you can't afford to use Indiana Limestone. Technological advances in both quarrying and fabrication have made the material more affordable than ever. Call ILI or our members — you'll be glad you did.