100 Years of Quality - Steward Mellon History
Steward-Mellon Company was founded in 1919 as a partnership between A.E. Mellon and E.G. Steward to beautify buildings with terrazzo and stone. The Naugle family (now in its third generation at Steward-Mellon’s helm) first gained an equity stake in the firm in 1945. With a long tradition of work on the finest industrial, liturgical, retail and residential projects, Steward-Mellon Company’s resume reflects a historical commitment to quality and the fine artisans who craft it. For over 100 years, Steward-Mellon’s construction projects have drawn on the expertise of Master Craftsmen from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. This commitment to working with only the best, most experienced crews insures your next project will have the resilience, quality and beauty to last many lifetimes.
Through the years we have been fortunate to work with amazing clients throughout the south eastern United States on public art, industrial projects, and a vast number of award-winning terrazzo floors. Our journey continues with a century of experience.
Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach - NTMA Award
The award winning Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach also has an award-winning floor. The hotel won an award for best family / resort hotel in the United States in January of 2019. Steward Mellon was honored to be selected to complete the terrazzo work that gives the hotel a touch of timeless class. The Hardrock Hotel at Daytona Beach opened in May of 2018.
Loretta Ingraham Recreation Center
artist/designer: Monica Naugle, Plant City, Fl
architect: Harvard, Jolly, Cleese and Toppe St. Petersburg , FL
This project was part of the City of Tampa Art in Public Places program. The neighborhoods served by this recreation center have a very strong neighborhood association. The artist, Monica Naugle, is primarily a sculptor, weaving metal cables in this piece. She has woven the stories of the neighborhoods triumph into a timeline with the two communities maps superimposed on twin suns. The neighborhoods are hemmed in by commercial development, thus the fringe of buildings at the perimeter. Terrazzo was the only medium to achieve a design of this complexity.
Celebrating 100 Years
In 1919 E.G. Steward and A.E. Mellon joined forces as a partnership concerned with the installation of marble, tile and terrazzo. They later incorporated as Steward-Mellon Marble and Tile Company in 1921. Looking over the old charter, by-laws and minutes is a great lesson in history.
The company formed at the start of one of the greatest construction ages in the state of Florida, The Boom. The firm prospered over the next several years as evidenced by reasonable cash dividends paid to the shareholders up until 1927. Notes included in the 1927 minutes indicated an economic slowdown in the making. The shareholders made the observation at the February 1, 1929 annual meeting: “the business prospects for 1929 appeared none too bright.” This was quite the understatement. On October 29, 1929 the stock market crashed. This was the infamous “Black Tuesday” which most historians and economists agree was pivotal to the start of the Great Depression. 1929 was also a year of loss for Steward-Mellon. E.G. Steward was tragically killed in an automobile accident. In spite of the economy and loss of a shareholder, the firm survived, and indeed flourished during the Great Depression. Some years marked losses, and some accounts were paid to the company with worthless stock certificates, but the company emerged even stronger than before. I believe the secret of the company’s success during such hard times was a commitment to conduct business honestly, to treat its employees fairly, and to provide the highest quality work in the industry. We are just as proudly committed to these principles today.
The National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association
Steward-Mellon Company is a proud member of the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association. Founded in 1923, The National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association, Inc. is a full service Non-Profit Trade Association headquartered in Fredricksburg, Texas. The Association establishes national standards for all Terrazzo floor and wall systems and provides complete specifications, color plates and general information to architects and designers at no cost.
Membership in the Association is limited to Terrazzo Contractors who meet rigid proficiency standards and participate in continuing educational seminars conducted annually by the Association. Associate membership is available to material suppliers whose products comply with the standards stipulated by the Association.
It is a great deal of work, but over the past several years, I have become more and more involved in the association. I want to give something back to the industry which has been so good to me and my family. I have been a member of the Membership and Technical Committees for the past ten years. I chaired the Technical Bulletin Revision Committee for its two year project. In 2004, I was elected Zone 2 (Southeast US) Director. Subsequently, I was appointed Treasurer. At the Napa, California convention in 2009, I was elected Vice President. I was re-elected for a second term at the 2010 Scottsdale, Arizona convention. In 2011 at the Hilton Head, SC convention, I was elected by unanimous membership vote to the office of Association President.. At this year's convention in Miami Beach, Florida, I was re-elected to the office of President.
I have greatly enjoyed working with the immediate past President, John D’Agnolo of Northern Illinois Terrazzo and Tile, our Vice President, Rick Crouch of Desco Coatings, our new Treasurer, Darin Flabiano, of American Terrazzo Ltd, our Executive Director, Richard Bruns, the entire Board of Directors, and our wonderful staff. The Association is dynamic, forward thinking, and absolutely dedicated to terrazzo quality. I am proud to do my part.
Miami Home and Decor Magazine
There is a great article showcasing the award-winning Saks-Kavanaugh condo in Miami. Steward-Mellon won a National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association Honor Award in 2009 for the terrazzo in this residence. The article can be found in article 71-3 of the Miami Home and Decor Magazine. The epoxy matrix was from Terroxy; The plastic aggregates came from Fribel International; and the water-jet cutting was done by HydroKnife. . Many thanks to all who helped make this job such a great success!
An Interview with Robert Calvo
MN: What was your first AIPP project using terrazzo?
RC: "The first commission I applied for was for Miami light rail; a set of three designs in terrazzo, one for each station downtown. I didn’t get the job, but as it turned out it was a great preparation and learning experience for when “Concourse “H” came along at MIA. My first actual commission was a pair of (steel) bridges at Horizon (Now Al Lopez) Park in Tampa, Florida."
MN: After working in other media (metals, plastica, paint, paper) Why did you select terrazzo for the MIA Concourse “H” piece?
RC: "For me; having been educated as a graphic designer, terrazzo was the obvious choice for easily translating a very graphic and detailed large scale picture. The color palette was unrestricted and all the materials extremely permanent."
MN: We really enjoyed working with you on MIA’s Concourse H “Flight Patterns” as well as the TIA piece. How was your experience working with Steward-Mellon on these projects? (Be honest, we can take it!)
RC: "A great number of problems can arise on an integrated, large scale job such as the airport commissions I’ve done with SM. I can honestly say however that had other agencies involved in my public art works been half as professional and thoughtful as Steward-Mellon, I would still be involved with public art today."
MN: Could you provide us links to some of your other AIPP projects?
RC: "Here’s a list of links; some terrazzo, some in other media:"
1. http://data.racc.org/pubart/index.php (then fill "Robert Calvo")
MN: You have not been pursuing public art commissions in favor of doing studio work for the past several years. What caused this shift in focus?
RC: "My 15 year stint doing public art began with a set of 2 (steel) bridges in a park in Tampa, Florida. It was a thrilling thing to be a part of; so much larger physically and conceptually than previous sculpture and mixed media works I'd done."
"However, there were at least 4 levels of bureaucratic involvement on that first project (City, County, State and Federal wetlands agencies) and that should have told me something. But I was too enamored of the scale at which I was working, and of course seduced by the money involved in an artwork of this size. I weathered all the changes to my original design and ended up with something less than I started with."
"About that same time I acquired a commission at a hospital in Gainesville (Shands), making a set of relief sculptures that were true to the studio/gallery work I was doing at the time. The themes were the same as in the bridges project but the 7 pieces were of a size that I could work with on my own and only one art consultant was involved. The design was approved in a set of sketches and I went to work. I had a few other similar large commissions that allowed me to work in this logical and enjoyable fashion. Again I should have paid more attention to how I wanted to be involved in the art but not in the bureaucracy."
Here is an example of what can go wrong with the system:
"The image below is a working drawing (detail of 6). Done as a finalist, chosen for project, and superseded by an artist friend of an Alachua County Commissioner from Gainesville without approval of the local arts commission. One of many reasons I feel the system is corrupt, manipulative and used as a political tool." -RC
(ironically, the project contained the words "tolerance, vigilance and truth")
MN: Aside from your AIPP work, you have a long history of studio work. I have seen your sculptural work locally at the Gulf Coast Museum (sadly, now closed), the Tampa Museum of Art, and the Polk Museum. I have also seen your more recent collage/acrylic works at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery. What are you currently working on, and what does the future hold for you as an artist?
RC: "Here are some links to galleries that represent me:"
DAVIS & CLINE GALLERY
"As to what the future holds, I've been off the public art circuit for about 4 years, if you don't count the project in Miramar (which was 10 years in the making!) I'm supplementing my income now with work as an art installer and art shipper along the West coast.This I do with a flexible enough schedule to paint in the studio 2-3 days a week. I've been working on pictures that I hope contain some of the spirit of early modernism; Klee, Miro, Kandinsky etc. Indeed a long way from my life and work in Florida.I feel these new pieces are more energetic with more control over color. The images emerge from a background full of earlier elements and shapes from previous paintings. It has not been a neat and easy transition. Ambitious artists with day jobs are usually much younger.The desire to make the work exists outside the world of commerce and the desire for success. You simply must make the work or you leave a hole in your heart & mind. I think that's the hardest thing to come to grips with. You may never have an established career and financial security but you do the work. Expectations beyond that should not deter you. So I will continue to make things regardless of circumstances. I'll be alright. I have a wonderful partner in Cathy and her family is very warm and welcoming to me."
"I just turned 60 July 15th."
Granite Benches at Texas Tech - Lubbock
Jim Hirschfield is a very busy man. He is Professor and chair of the Intellectual Life Committee at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a prolific creator of site-specific public art, as well as more museum oriented installations. We have enjoyed working with Jim on several projects over the years, including the City of Tampa's Trolley Stops, and we were very excited when he approached us for some granite benches. The design concept was daunting; 2" thick black granite slabs set as benches on stainless steel supports, Imagery depicting fire and water was to be sandblasted into the polished granite surface. The tough part was that centered into the 6 foot square panels was cubic white marble, sculpted into a bowl on one (water) and a dome on the other (fire). The archival value of the pieces was of great inportance, since the works were to be exposed to the harsh climate. The sculpted marble forms were affixed to the granite slabs with stainless brackets and Methylmethacrylate resin manufactured by Key Resin Company. We worked closely with Jim on all facets of the planning and execution of the project, and in the end, we had the stainless bases shipped to our shop, where we applied our fabricated pieces. We then delivered and installed the works at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas. The pieces weighed about 3000 lbs each.
Thirty Foot Manta Ray sighted at Lemon Bay in Englewood, Florida!
Steward-Mellon recently completed a terrazzo floor for the Lemon Bay High School gym entrance lobby. The imagery consists of the school mascot, a stylized manta ray. The original artwork was replicated on CAD by our Chief Estimator/Project Manager, Kevin Gregorich. The design had color bleeds, a difficult effect to achieve in terrazzo. During our sample submittal process, we provided mock ups of the bleeds in the approved colors. Certain parts of the terrazzo were precast and waterjet cut to be placed in the field. Other areas were cast in place, including the color bleeds. Many thanks to Charlotte County Public Schools and Balfour Beatty Construction for the opportunity to do this great project!
Community Bank Terrazzo Floor
When Wannemacher Jensen Architects wanted a sleek, white, elegant floor, they thought of terrazzo. n the age of social media, where a company’s face may be solely relegated to Twitter and Facebook posts, Community Bank strives to bridge the on-line experience with the off-line experience. This new, flagship branch is located along Beach Drive in St. Petersburg, FL and houses five specific zones within the facility. The programmable LED lights splash onto an impeccable white canvas of compound curving forms, reminiscent of Apple products, thus becoming a visual barometer for the company’s brand, mood, social awareness and public relations.
Steward-Mellon worked closely with the architect to translate their concept for the space into the floor. To accentuate the compound curves of the walls, integral poured in place terrazzo cove base was chosen. The vertical leg of the base actually follows the angle of the wall above. The base was carried into the carpeted zones with a 12" wide floor border. A small percentage of plastic aggregate (green, in the bank's logo color) was used in the predominantly white design mix.
It was a pleasure working with Wannemacher Jensen on this wonderful project. They have a great writeup and photos on their website.
Terrazzo Flooring Project at Tampa International Airport
Here is Wendy’s artist statement:
SEA SHADOWS: This three-part project by photographer and visual artist Wendy Babcox, inspired by the work and research of the Biological Oceanography Department at the College of Marine Sciences at the University of South Florida (USF), explores three different levels of observation of the marine world and involves the use of three distinct imaging technologies to capture the variety of ocean life around us.
Surface refers to the first level of observation, available to the naked eye, and consists of photographs of Honeymoon Island beach taken by Wendy Babcox with a pinhole camera.
Shadows explores another level of observation, which captures marine images recorded using the SIPPER, a high-powered imaging device. These etched glass images were adapted from real imagery of plankton collected in the Gulf of Mexico using the Shadowed Image Particle Profiling and Evaluation Recorder (SIPPER), which was developed by the Center for Ocean Technology at the USF College of Marine Science to better understand the distribution and composition of plankton in our oceans.
The development of the SIPPER was funded by the Office of Naval Research through grants to USF faculty Dr. Andrew Remsen and Dr. Thomas Hopkins, and the images were collected with the assistance of graduate students Kurt Kramer and Sennai Habtes.
In Source, icons of marine algae, adapted from microscopic images of a filtered seawater sample and taken via electron microscope by Anthony M.
Greco, manager of the electron microscope facility at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, take the form of aluminum cut-outs on the terrazzo floor.
The artist wanted a deep-sea feel to this terrazzo floor. We worked with her on design mixes and came up with a shimmering deep blue epoxy terrazzo with glass and abalone shell aggregates. Wendy provided Steward-Mellon with CAD drawings of the design. The twenty-nine algae images were then waterjet cut, set in the field with epoxy. The floor was poured around the aluminum images, ground, and polished to a luster to bring out the saturated color. The process went through without a hitch. The artist sums up her experience: “It was a pleasure working with Steward-Mellon. They worked tirelessly to manifest the creative vision of this project.” It was great working with you as well, Wendy!
The Natural Stone Industry
We have been, and still are on top of the game.
Well, the honeymoon is over so to speak for the stone industry…. Or at least it is for the hoards of shops that set up seemingly overnight during the housing boom of a couple of years back. The work just isn’t there for those shops that sunk gobs of capital into machinery over skilled hands. A shop’s floor sweeper one day, the next: the owner of a kitchen countertop fabrication shop; a self-proclaimed expert! Quality has so suffered over the past several years. The product of a high output edge machine just lacks the “soul” that a hand worked edge possesses. “Independent Contractors” can not install these remarkable products of nature as lovingly as a BAC certified Master Marble Mechanic.
At Steward-Mellon Company, marble, granite and the natural stones make up the smaller part of our overall mix. For example, we produce much more precast terrazzo in our shop than granite countertops. Those have so been commodified that they are available on every street corner (in some parts of town) at ridiculously low prices (and quality). The stone work we do here is another beast entirely. Whether it is an Art in Public Places project, a monument such as the Astronauts Memorial or the City of Tampa’s Fallen Officer Memorial, or ornate liturgical work, the people who want the very best craftsmanship in natural stone come to Steward-Mellon.
Florida Terrazzo Project with Artist Wopo Holup
The Eastern elevator lobby features an installation by New York/Colorado artist Wopo Holup. Here is her concept:
“Florida Constellations” is a work in two parts, a carved limestone mural and a glass and stone terrazzo lobby floor. Ideas for the work consist of a sky view of the earth and a mind’s view of the sky. Tampa Bay and the west coast of Florida are mapped from above. It is the view of land we see taking off or landing from Tampa International Airport – a view in flight.
A satellite map of the west coast of Florida shows the land as a mixture of pink and green, the ocean is turquoise to indigo. The terrazzo floor is made of these shades of pink and green aggregate in the land area and glass aggregates in blues for the water areas. A single waterjet cut aluminum strip divides the land and water areas.
As this work was in the planning stages, the sky mural was clouds and sun, but quickly became a clear night sky with stars, and then with a smile, the star constellations were connected into astrology’s mythological creatures. These creatures metamorphosed to symbols and signs specific to Florida – the Florida panther, the flamingo, and an alligator. A porpoise and catfish became Pisces. The Florida Panther stands in the place of Leo, and native Timucua people are the Gemini twins.”
“Steward-Mellon Company installed the terrazzo floor. I worked with Mark Naugle who was responsive to artistic concepts in the design. He understood his materials and showed me good samples to match my ideas for “land and water” colors. During installation Mark’s workmen took great care to craft these ideas into a lasting work.“
Wopo was very “hands-on” on this project, working on her knees on the jobsite with our workers to translate her design to the floor. The terrazzo job was a complex one; essentially a pixelated map of the coast of West-Central Florida, made up of eight terrazzo design mixes. Four represented land, and four were water. There were no dividers between the hundreds of feet of color shifts in the floor, only at the land/water division. Wopo and our craftsman drew the full scale drawing directly onto the primed floor. “Patties” of epoxy terrazzo mix were then applied within their respective “pixel” and tooled to shape. Wopo was a joy to work with. She had a positive experience working with Steward-Mellon as well.
Wopo, we’re looking forward to working with you again in the future.
Tampa International Airport Baggage Claim
Mathews Construction, a division of Hardin Construction was the General Contractor. Thanks to all involved for a beautiful and sucessful installation. Gresham, Smith has a great description of the project and process here.
Another nice article on the TIA Baggage Claim project at Airport Improvement Magazine!