Detroit, Michigan

Indiana Limestone


About Indiana Limestone

320 million years ago when the continents were joined in one great landmass, what is now the American Midwest was then at the bottom of a shallow tropical sea.

Over aeons the calcium carbonate remains of the ancient shell-bearing marine life that lived in that sea were broken down into fine grains by wave energy, deposited on the sea floor, and eventually fused together into sedimentary rock. Today that massive deposit extends from Bloomington to Bedford in Monroe and Lawrence Counties in South Central Indiana and is better known as the Indiana stone belt.

Sometimes referred to as Bedford limestone or Salem limestone, Indiana limestone is also described as an Oölitic (egg-like) limestone because the spherical shape of the grains of which it is composed resemble fish roe and it can therefore be cut or sculpted in any direction. This feature, coupled with hardness, color and durability, gives the limestone its quality as a building stone.

Indiana limestone qualifies as a freestone because its high degree of physical consistency allows it to be carved easily and to hold fine detail when shaped by hammer and chisel, saws, planers, lathes and other equipment without splitting or shattering.

Its beauty, versatility, and proven durability in all climates across centuries has qualified Indiana limestone as America's premier building stone material.

Used on houses, libraries, schools, post offices and hospitals throughout North America, Indiana limestone is also the featured stone cladding on many iconic buildings, including: the General Motors Building, Detroit; the Empire State Building; Grand Central Terminal; Manhattan's Rockefeller Center, which required a remarkable 3200 train car loads of material; the National Cathedral; the United States Holocaust Memorial; the Ronald Reagan Building - the second largest federal building in size after the Pentagon; the Department of Commerce building; the National Theatre; Indiana University; the neogothic campus of the University of Chicago; Chicago's Tribune Tower; and, George Vanderbilt's Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. 35 of the 50 state capitol buildings are made of Indiana Limestone. Roman Stone Works supplies Indiana limestone for the restoration of downtown Detroit's historic Fort Shelby Hotel.

What We Do

Roman Stone Works designs and fabricates Indiana limestone cladding and architectural ornamentation for residential, commercial and institutional buildings.

We produce a wide selection of standard Indiana limestone design elements such as balustrades, caps, copings, keystones, quoins, finials, window sills and door thresholds.

We also fabricate custom cut architectural features such as panels, arches, entrance ways, columns, fireplace surrounds and ornamental limestone sculpture.

How We Do It

Our raw material is Indiana limestone slab stock. We transport slabs directly from stonebelt quarries in Indiana to our production mill in downtown Detroit where we maintain a large selection of slabs in our climate controlled inventory.

Generations of practical experience in the masonry industry - for many of us, literally on scaffolding installing brick and stone - is used every day at Roman Stone Works when we estimate, site verify measurements, design, and carefully quality control the fabrication process to make sure that stone is produced quickly - and correctly - the first time.

Once we have approved shop drawings from our customer production begins. Indiana limestone slabs are selected for each job and then are variously saw cut, planed, turned on lathes and hand hewn using traditional and modern stone carving and finishing techniques.

Additionally, we produce tooling and equipment in our in-house machine shop not only to offer our customers a broad selection of original custom profiles and shapes but also to accelerate stone availability for delivery and installation.


Indiana Limestone



Oöid grains




Federal Reserve Bank of
New York


Apex Building, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C.






Limestone medallion underway

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