The Wicked Yard

Amanda Pittsley

Recent Posts

Swenson’s Granite State Stores Connect With Their Communities

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Sep 22, 2020 11:27:26 AM

From helping a homeowner with a first-time project to overseeing a monument honoring veterans constructed in their hometown, the teams at Swenson Granite Works’ two New Hampshire retail locations in Concord and Amherst are deeply connected to their surrounding communities. It makes sense, seeing as they work with a material so closely connected to the Granite State and quarried just steps away in Concord.

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Topics: Granite, New Hampshire, Store Spotilght

Pull Up a Chair! 15 Quarantine-Worthy Natural Stone Fireplaces & Fire Pits

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Aug 28, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Long before sheltering-in-place went into effect — before masks, social distancing and hand sanitizer were de rigueur — outdoor living was a thing. Over the last 10 years, homeowners have embraced the concept and created refuges that feature outdoor kitchens, patios, fire pits and fireplace features.

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Topics: Fireplaces, Outdoor living, fire pit

Before and After: 6 New England Homes Get a Boost of Curb Appeal With Natural Stone Hardscaping

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Aug 7, 2020 8:00:00 AM

As most New Englanders are spending more time right at home these days, those projects that seemed to loom off in the future are getting checked off the list this summer. Adding a new walkway, patio or front steps are among some of the top requested curb appeal projects.

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Topics: granite steps, before and after

Connecticut Hardscape Project Uses Granite to Reflect Home’s New England Roots

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Jul 29, 2020 7:59:51 AM

For the complete renovation of her mid-19th Century home in Westport, Connecticut, actress, entrepreneur and lifestyle blogger Eva Amurri wanted to stay true to its simple New England roots — both inside and out. So, just as the mom of three retained most of the original doors and hardware inside the home to blend old and new elements, the hardscape design incorporated natural stone details using granite that was quarried nearby, which seamlessly blends into the historic neighborhood’s landscape.

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Topics: Granite, Patios, New England, Hardscape

Finding Common Ground Along Boston’s North & South Shores Through Swenson Granite Works Stores

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Jul 13, 2020 9:37:34 AM

It’s a rivalry that goes back to colonial days pitting Pilgrims vs. Puritans, but hundreds of years later, denizens of Boston’s North and South shores remain two distinctly separate areas. Residents rarely cross borders to travel to the opposite Massachusetts shore, although some dispute just what towns make up each territory.

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Topics: History and Heritage, Massachusetts, Hanover, Rowley

Granite is the Stone of Choice for Seaside Projects Along the New England Seaboard

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Jun 19, 2020 10:02:07 AM

From its uppermost reaches in Maine down to Connecticut’s southern shores, New England’s coastline features a topography ranging from rugged cliff faces, rocky shorelines and sandy beaches. While varied, the length of the northeast seaboard shares one common variable: the occasional wrath of Mother Nature. 

Year after year, the coastline takes batterings from seasonal hurricanes and nor’easters — not to mention winter’s damaging cold temperatures and winds — all while being pounded by the waves of the salty Atlantic Ocean. It stands to reason that anything built along the coast calls for only the most durable building materials to weather New England’s seasonal swings and ocean tides. 

For many, granite is the natural choice for projects that must contend with the harsh ocean elements and withstand the constant freeze-thaw cycle.

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Topics: Granite, New England, coastal living

New Hampshire: There’s a Reason Why They Call it the ‘Granite State’

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on May 29, 2020 8:16:15 AM

High above New Hampshire’s Merrimack River, deep in the core of Rattlesnake Hill, Swenson Granite Works has been quarrying historic CONCORD GRAY™ granite since 1883. Also known as Swenson Gray, the iconic stone has brought timeless style to buildings across the country for over a century and has been a part of the company’s heritage of stonework. While methods for cutting the rock have changed over time and many other quarries have come and gone, one thing remains the same: Concord Gray granite has stood the test of time.

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Topics: History and Heritage, Granite, New Hampshire

Massachusetts Landscape Architect Takes Pride in Sustainable Design and Construction with New England’s Natural Stone

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on May 14, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Crisscrossing the landscape long before the Revolutionary War, stone walls are as classic to New England as church steeples and lighthouses, with a legacy that continues to this day.

Hundreds of years after the nation gained its independence, walls crafted from native stone are still a traditional element in hardscape design not only in a nod to the region’s history but also as a more modern approach to sustainability.

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Topics: American natural stone, Sustainable Design, stone walls, New England

A Visit to the Swenson Granite Works Shrewsbury Store is an Experience for the Whole Family

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Apr 30, 2020 8:55:42 AM

Friendly. Family and community oriented. Up and coming.

Those are just a few of the things that come to mind for John Proulx when he thinks of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, where he manages one of Swenson Granite Works’ newest retail stores.

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Topics: Granite, New England, Massachusetts

Arnold Strongman Classic Pits Man vs. Stone

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Apr 17, 2020 8:24:23 AM

How do you prove just who is the world’s strongest man?

Some of the strongest men from around the world hoisted massive granite stones weighing hundreds of pounds at this year’s Arnold Strongman Classic, in a “Trial By Stone” medley that pitted the strongmen against the strongest stone in the world.

The five round lifting stones, weighing between 275 and 420 pounds, were fabricated by Swenson Granite Works from BETHEL WHITE® granite, of which four were used in the annual competition held in Columbus, Ohio and featuring strength athletes from all over the world.

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Topics: Granite, Notable Project

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