Structures and Monuments in Which
Kansas Stone was Used
After a year of working on the altar and lectern, Marion “Lucky” Jeffords III designed and installed these pieces for the Cathedral.
“The new altar and lectern are cut from Silverdale limestone quarried near Wichita, Kan.
“‘I prefer Kansas limestone because it has the more natural look of stone,' Jeffords said. He said the most common limestone quarried in Indiana looks artificial, almost as though it was formed in a mold.
“‘It should look like stone,” he added.
“The new altar weighs in at 4,000 pounds, while the lectern tips the scales at about 1,000 pounds. The detailed carving on both is intricate and all done by hand.
“‘The only tools I have are my hands, some sandpaper, an air compressor and electricity,” Jeffords said. The electricity is for a router he uses for some of the more difficult angles and cuts.
“When the limestone for the altar showed up at his shop, it was a rectangular block about 12 inches thick, 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. Today it is a work of art. Its carving, cutting and sanding is sure to be the equal of any altar in the state, if not superior.
“Jeffords is a bear of a man with hands the size of frying pans and shoulders as wide as the garage door of his countryside shop located in the gently sloping hills south of Littleton. With his ponytail, mustache and powerful stature, your first impression might be that he has a Harley stashed somewhere behind his shop. After all, moving stone around that can weigh hundreds to thousands of pounds is no job for the weak. But his outward appearance belies a disposition that seems as gentle as a lamb.
“As a second-generation stonecutter, Jeffords started his career in South Carolina, where he made headstones and monuments for graves. His father, at 72 years old, is still active in the business. After moving to Colorado about 22 years ago, the younger Jeffords decided that the "monument" business was no longer satisfying. Gravestones were beginning to be built by large monument companies in a mass-production atmosphere, not the place for an artist who likes to work slowly and skillfully.
“There is no doubt that Jeffords is an artist. While he is quiet about his work, it can be seen in some of the most expensive homes in Denver.
“‘I spent about five years at one house in Cherry Hills,” Jeffords said. “In 1990, architect David Tryba came to me and asked me to build an altar, ambo and tabernacle for the chapel at Regis High School. That was my first experience with church architecture.”
“Since that time, Jeffords has done work at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Denver and is currently working on a project for the new Our Lady of Loreto Church in southeast Aurora.”
NOTE: There are many buildings constructed of stone in Kansas that are not on the list below. I only placed the structures on the list when they were identified as constructed of native stone. You can view all of the photographs in the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) Kansas Photo Display System.
All of the buildings of the center and museum are built of Kansas
limestone. The walls are covered with "Loredo Chiaro marble
from Italy, and floors are of travertine quarried in Italy,
trimmed with "reche d'Alep and Rouge Fleuri marble from France." (The above information is presented on the Dwight D. Eisenhower
Foundation web site.) Photograph by Grace Muilenburg, KGS.
The source of this material is the Kansas Geological Survey web site at <http://www.kgs.ku.edu/>. All Rights Reserved.
The limestone used in the buildings is called Cottonwood limestone which has "a rich creamy color."
Grey rock-faced, ashlar limestone was used in construction of the building which was constructed in 1868.
Parmenter Hall was the first building to be constructed on the Baker University campus. Construction began in 1866 and was finally completed in 1881. The building was constructed of native sandstone. The Kansas Geological Survey web site states that the building was constructed of Ireland sandstone. Click here to view another photograph of Parmenter Hall presented by the Kansas Geological Survey web site.