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The Indiana Daily Student

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‘The stone that helped build America’: Indiana Limestone Company to offer Empire Quarry tour


Visit Bloomington is partnering with Indiana Limestone Company to conduct a tour of the Empire Quarry as part of Limestone Month. On June 28, participants will experience the operations of the Empire Quarry hole — the site where the stone from the Empire State Building was extracted.

“Limestone is the stone that helped build America,” Erin White, Visit Bloomington Director of Leisure Marketing and Media, said.

The tour will begin at 9 a.m. at the Bloomington Visitors Center on North Walnut Street. From there, the group will board a shuttle to the quarry. Attendees can expect to be back at the visitors center no later than 1 p.m., according to the Visit Bloomington event page.

Reservations are required. The cost is $40 per person and must be paid in advance. For registration, visit the Visit Bloomington event page.

This tour requires closed-toed footwear. Participants should bring water and sunscreen, and wear clothing that is appropriate to be indoors and outdoors.

On the tour, participants will see Indiana Limestone Company’s extraction methods, tour the finished goods fabrication mill and see the state-of-the-art automated line. Participants will also learn about Indiana Limestone Company's plan to be the first Indiana Limestone quarrier to meet the criteria of the Natural Stone Council as a sustainable quarry, according to the Visit Bloomington event page.

White said this tour gives a unique perspective on the history and heritage of Bloomington.

“This is the stone that helped build some of the most famous structures, not only in Bloomington and on IU campus, but all across the country,” White said. “For folks who are wanting to learn something new or just have a greater sense of appreciation for the community that they call home, this is a perfect summer activity to experience.”

Limestone Month was created in 2007 to celebrate the heritage of limestone in Lawrence and Monroe Counties. Throughout June, Visit Bloomington offers tours through limestone quarries and notable places. People can also experience live carving at workshops and partake in with other festivities.

For more tour details, information on Limestone Month and other events and festivities, visit the Limestone Month website.

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