Restoring History: ‘Good Bones’ Unearths the Indiana Limestone Legacy on HGTV

In the vibrant city of Indianapolis, mother/daughter duo Karen Laine and Mina Starsiak transform dilapidated properties in and around their hometown, breathing new life into old homes. The HGTV stars have an uncanny knack for finding diamonds in the rough that have the potential to become neighborhood standouts. In season eight episode three of their HGTV show ‘Good Bones’, titled Historical Hiccups on Hill Street, Mina, Karen, and the rest of the team embark on an exciting journey to restore a charming 90-year-old Indiana residence.

A Historic Treasure in Irvington

Located in the historical Indianapolis neighborhood of Irvington, the residence offers more than what meets the eye. With original stone veneer siding, this home not only captivated the Good Bones team but also brought them face-to-face with the Historic Preservation Commission. This presented a unique challenge: How to ensure the renovations align with the town’s historical guidelines while allowing for the necessary updates?

The Quest for the Perfect Match

A significant alteration in the floorplan called for the closure of a doorway surrounded by a beautiful but unknown stone for the contractors. To find an identical match, the team began a search — that ultimately led them to Cassandra Wegleitner, Inside Sales at Polycor.

The “Good Bones” team sent Cassie photos of a manufactured stone sample they wanted to use to close up the doorway and when she saw the photos, she was sure the original stone in the house was Indiana Limestone and that the manufactured stone veneer option the team was considering wouldn’t work.

Berkshire® from Polycor’s Estate Veneer Series was the perfect match for the project because it’s the exact same stone used for the original construction 90 years before.

“I could tell by their pictures that it wasn’t going to be a match,” said Cassie. “I just knew. So I sent them Indiana Limestone samples and we invited them to come to the quarry for a tour.”

Some scouting producers came to the quarry in Oolitic, about an hour south of the home, and everyone realized that Indiana Limestone wasn’t just a match, it was an important story to tell, thanks to Cassie’s profound knowledge of Indiana Limestone.

“I always refer to myself as a stone nerd and could literally spit out stone information all day long if you’d let me,” said Cassie. “My husband hates watching TV with me because we can be watching anything and I’ll say ‘Oh, did you see that stone in the background?’”

The offspring of Mother Nature and Father Time, Indiana Limestone, stands as a testament to nature’s craftsmanship, outlasting fleeting design trends and transient materials. While the manufactured materials of the world have their moments of fame, it’s the enduring beauty of Indiana Limestone that remains forever in vogue.

This iconic limestone has graced the facades of global architectural wonders, from the National Cathedral to the Lincoln Memorial to the Empire State Building (which the quarry is now named for) demonstrating the stone’s profound historical and aesthetic significance. In comparison, synthetic materials can’t capture this deep-rooted authenticity and often miss the mark in emulating not only the patterns, colors and textures of the material but also the rich legacy of quarried stone.

Take a Walking Tour of Washington DC,
Where History is Carved in Stone

NSI 373 Certified Indiana Limestone Quarry

Beyond its beauty, Indiana Limestone’s strength is unparalleled. Unlike engineered products that wear with time, this limestone, sculpted by eons, geological forces, and devoid of artificial additives, stands resilient against nature’s challenges. In essence, Indiana Limestone isn’t just a stone; it’s a piece of history, holding within it tales of time and tales of earth’s artistry.

With the discovery of the perfect match in Polycor’s Hardscapes & Masonry’s Estate Veneer Series line, particularly the Berkshire® thin veneer cut in Indiana Limestone – Full Color Blend™, the scouting team was elated and scheduled an in-person visit for Good Bones stars Karen Laine and Austin Aynes. And Cassie was up for giving this second group a tour, too.

“My favorite part of my job is to give quarry tours,” said Cassie. “I love the history and I love explaining our processes and talking about you why we do things the way we do, and the change in technology, and how we really embrace technology as a company. “

With Cassie leading the tour, the Good Bones team had the unique opportunity to peer behind the scenes and see for themselves the operations, processes, and rich history of this iconic limestone quarry.

The existing fireplace surround in the home was also carved from solid blocks of Indiana Limestone which was preserved and once again became a focal point in the new layout.

For the ‘Good Bones’ team, what started as a quest for the perfect match for a doorway alteration became an enlightening journey into the heart of Indiana’s geological treasure – the Indiana Limestone itself. This limestone, shaped and perfected by eons of geological forces, has left its indelible mark. Its tales are not just etched in the annals of architectural history but are also woven into the very essence of the earth’s artistry.

Want to learn more about Indiana Limestone and its legacy as America’s premier building stone? Be sure to check out the Freedom Place Case Study…

The Sustainable Advantages of Indiana Limestone

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