Ancient Stone from Jerusalem Hits the American Building Materials Market
Posted on: 02/08/2007
DENVER, Colo. — Gill Lobel loves Jerusalem and its beauty so much that he has decided to bring part of its legend and history to the United States.
The owner of a construction company in Denver, Lobel visited Jerusalem often as a child, always admiring the stone in the buildings and the legendary “Wailing Wall.” Then, on a trip a few years ago, Lobel realized that the very stone from which Jerusalem is built is an affordable and exquisite alternative to granite or marble.
Where It Began
Lobel anticipates that others will see the value-added aspect of Jerusalem Stone as he enters the U.S. stone import market that is at $3.34 billion (2005).
Jerusalem is known as “The City of Gold” because reflections of the sun on the stone create a golden glow across the entire town. For more than 5,000 years, stone from specific quarries has been used to build the resilient city. Even today, the building code in Jerusalem regulates that all new buildings must use the stone in construction or as a facade to keep the city historically consistent.
Jerusalem Stone developed over millions of years as ocean water, sand, and shells came together to create a durable stone. Each variety reflects its own unique hue: bone, gold, grey and rose. Much of the stone contains million-year-old fossils that add to its depth of beauty.
“Jerusalem is the nexus of the Abrahamic religious traditions. This is vitally important to Jews, Christians and Muslims,” Lobel explains. “One doesn’t have to be religious to appreciate the appeal and historical significance of the stone. The stone feels sacred, so it adds an ethereal quality to wherever it’s used.”
The company’s launch represents the first time this stone from Israel is available direct from quarries to North America. This makes the stone more affordable than many commonly used stone materials. Lobel supplies to a number of dealers in the United States, but his passion is to help consumers find the best way to use the stone in their homes or houses of worship.
“When I touch this ancient stone, I feel the pulse of history,” Lobel says. “I believe that if the stone could speak, the amazing story of the region would be brought to the forefront.”
Lobel says he gets calls from churches and synagogues who want the stone in their facilities. “My vision is to offer an affordable alternative to marble or granite while bringing something historically important and timeless from the Middle East to America,” he says.
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