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Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

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SONY Building Sold for $1.1 billion

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Olayan America and Chelsfield Group to buy 550 Madison Ave. for $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion

By JOSEPH DE AVILA April 25, 2016 8:45 p.m. ET A pair of international property investors said Monday that they had bought the Sony Building, the Midtown icon known for its distinctive notched Chippendale top. Olayan America, a subsidiary of Saudi investment conglomerate Olayan Group, along with Chelsfield Group, a London-based property-investment company, agreed to buy the 850,000-square-foot office building for $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion, a person familiar with the transaction said. Chelsfield Group will be a minority partner in the deal, this person said. The buyers purchased the Philip Johnson-designed tower, at 550 Madison Ave., from the Chetrit Group, a real-estate firm, which bought the Sony Building in 2013 for $1.1 billion. “We are delighted to partner once again with Olayan on a trophy property in a world-class city,” said Elliott Bernerd, founder and joint chairman of Chelsfield.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 April 2016 11:25

Write it in Stone and Endure

The human race has never conceived an important thought that it has not written down in stone. How precarious is the immortality of the manuscript! How far more solid, enduring and resisting a book is the edifice! To destroy a written word there is need only of a torch and a Turk. To destroy the constructed word there is need for a social revolution, a terrestrial upheaval. The barbarians swept over the Coliseum; the deluge, perhaps over the Pyramids.

  - Victor Hugo


Foundations of America

Foundations of America explores the relationship between natural resources, immigration and rise to national prominence of the community surrounding the Stony Creek pink granite quarries from 1850 to the present. For over 150 years, the culture, economics and surrounding this precious resource has found permanent positions in U.S. History. Literally and figuratively, the Nation’s history of the past 150 years is revealed by tracing the demand for and usages of stone from Connecticut’s Stony Creek quarries by rail, land and sea. In the larger sense, Stony Creek as metaphor for similar natural resource centers around the country.

…understand and appreciate the cultures of the pluralistic American community, including dominant and other American cultural traditions in a way that articulates an appreciation for difference in all its forms…

An “oil-and-water” melting pot of European immigrants were absorbed into America’s “big boom” of national identity.  Scots, Irish, Cornish, Italians, Finns, Swedes and Chinese brought with them lifestyles and religions that scandalized the same Yankee hosts that sought and immortalized their skills, proudly exporting their work to New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, Havana, Caracas, Paris and London.

Stony Creek pink granite, the nation’s signature stone, lines city streets, forms the foundations and facades of America’s great monuments, bridges and landmarks, each with its own historical context both local and national. The native stone forms the base of the Stature of Liberty, Grand Central Station, the Lincoln memorial and lives today in thousands of national monuments and architectural treasures, Pennsylvania Station in New York City, Boston Public Library, the George Washington Bridge, and the Battle Monument at West Point. Even the Connecticut state legislature resides within tons of pink granite, as does Quinnipiac University.

... critically examine what it means to assume a role of informed citizenship and leadership in the United States of America (by studying and recreating modern equivalents of existing monuments and landmarks.)

The history of many American monuments and movements, their underlying motivation instills the individual entrepreneurialism to leads the national community. Such permanent symbols at once reinforce, unify and direct the culture of tomorrow. It is a metaphor of tradition and transition, knitting together the disparate but synonymous histories of many localities from one era to the next, both successful and unsuccessful.

… use information resources for quantitative and qualitative research and inquiry in critical examinations of major themes and concepts that structure American life.


How to Upload Images for Articles

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How to Submit your Stony Creek articles for QU201. Login required.
You cannot copy and paste your article and pictures from MS Word directly into Foundations of America. It doesn't work that way. Read More instructions on how to upload images.

Last Updated on Saturday, 06 November 2010 10:50

Norcross Brothers Sites

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The Norcross Brothers website contains an extensive list of projects from 1864 to 1924. Not all of these are Stony Creek granite, but all are eligible for research.



Last Updated on Monday, 11 October 2010 10:36


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