In San Angelo, Eggemeyer's Stone Storefront Recognized with National Award
SAN ANGELO, TX — Eric Eggemeyer’s remodel of a historic storefront next to his family’s iconic Block One E. Concho Street general store at 35 E Concho Ave. was recognized in Stone Magazine by the National Stone Institute with the 2018 Pinnacle Award for its design, renovation and restoration based upon the architectural history nearby and its use of limestone sourced in the region.
According to the judges, Eggemeyer’s and the surrounding buildings were designed by famed San Angelo architect Oscar Ruffini (1858-1957), and, “Many elements of Ruffini’s original designs were incorporated into the final design of this project to capture the architectural antecedents that helped define the culture and design within the area.”
The design stays true to San Angelo’s heritages, the judges said.
“The entire façade was clad with rich, cream-colored Cedar Hill Cream limestone from TexaStone Quarries,” the magazine stated. Many of the pieces used in the project weighed 1.5 tons. TexaStone is located in Garden City.
San Angelo architect Henry Schmidt and stone installer A.J. Langford Masonry worked with Eggemeyer to complete the project that was unveiled in December 2017. Eggemeyer said he is inspired by a trend in urban areas called “open shopping.” Today, an outdoor town square layout is preferred to the 1960s indoor shopping mall concept. Think the Shops and La Canterra, Eggemeyer said. Learn more about the design in this December 2017 article, "This New Store Opening Soon May Define the Next Big Thing for Downtown San Angelo."
Eggemeyer believes open-air suburban malls do not have as much authenticity as a genuine historic downtown Main Street area like San Angelo’s downtown. It’s more authentic to have a historic city square, not one built by a developer this decade in the middle of a suburb.
Quade Weaver, who is the national sales director and an estimator for TexaStone, presented the award to Eggemeyer Saturday morning.
TexaStone is a family-owned business for 23 years. The company owns 22 sections of land near Garden City that has 16 quarries situated on it.
TexaStone gathers the stone from the quarry and fabricates it. Weaver said the raw product arrives from the quarry in 45,000-pound blocks. That block is immediately cut in half to make working with it manageable. From the half stone, TexaStone cuts each block of the project based upon the architect’s blueprints, then packs the pieces numbered, and ships them to the location. From there, the stone installer assembles and mortars the building or façade together.
Other TexaStone projects you may recognize include the San Angelo Visitor’s Center at 418 W Avenue B, The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, UT-Permian Basin, the new Midland Convention Center, and the Odessa Convention Center. Weaver said the largest market for his company is the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. There, a notable project they completed is the George W. Bush Library on the SMU Campus.
A façade comparable to the Eggemeyer project can run as high as $100,000, Weaver said.
Eggemeyer, who worked at the quarry when he was younger, said Ruffini used the same quarries. The stones for Tom Green County’s original 1885s courthouse were brought here with ox carts, Eggemeyer said. (That courthouse was demolished in 1927 to build the current one).
For the Eggemeyer storefront, Eric came up with original design. To visualize the right style, he said he visited and studied all Oscar Ruffini buildings in San Angelo and around the region. The he sketched the initial design based on four or five different buildings he liked. Finally, he hired architect Henry Schmidt who created three or four initial designs based upon Eggemeyer’s sketches.
“Together we picked one, tweaked it, and that became the design,” Eggemeyer said. “Henry really has an eye for the restoration of these buildings.”
Since the expansion of Eggemeyer’s General Store with the new building, Eggemeyer said it has had a positive impact on sales. The restored building features men’s items like knives, trendy fedora hats, whiskey flasks, and leather wallets.
“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in sales per square foot since the building was opened,” Eggemeyer said. The façade created a new kind of presence and attracted more attention to the General Store, he said.
But the new product lines haven’t changed what Eggemeyer’s has always been known for. What is the top-selling product line at the General Store?
“Fudge,” Eggemeyer said. And it was delicious!
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