Indiana Limestone, commonly known as Bedford or Salem Limestone comes from South Central Indiana between Bloomington and Bedford. This area that stretches 10 miles wide and 35 miles long is known as the ‘Stone Belt’. Since its’ initial discovery, Indiana Limestone has helped build some of the most important buildings in the United States. From coast to coast, people have been able to appreciate the strength and beauty of this natural stone. It is primarily made up of 97% calcite, making it chemically pure and consistent. The limestone is extracted from large quarries and cut into large blocks.
People began quarrying Indiana Limestone in the early 1800s with the first quarry established in 1827. Upon completion of the railroads in the 1850s, Indiana Limestone was able to be transported across the country, and it quickly became America’s stone of choice. It was very sturdy and easily cut to any size. Then in the 1870s, after large fires occurred in Chicago and Boston, builders were eager to switch to this new extremely fire resistant stone that appeared to have no downside. By 1920, Indiana Limestone made up 80% of the limestone market. Over the years the stone was used to build Indiana’s state capital, as well as the Empire State building, the Pentagon, and National Cathedral.
Indiana Limestone still proves to be many people’s stone of choice. The rich neutral color provides beauty and strength to exterior buildings. It continues to be valuable as an efficient, low energy demand product on the market. This stone has proven itself to be a top choice for builders. It continues to keep people happy throughout the year. The final decades of the 20th century brought Postmodernism, which welcomed Indiana Limestone’s natural look as a popular choice, and the market continues to be profitable.