The MIA has presented the 4th annual Grande Pinnacle Award to Britishstoneworks of Lakewood, OH, for the restoration of the Spirit of the Ocean Fountain in Santa Barbara, CA.

Grande Pinnacle Award Winner – Spirit of the Ocean Fountain, Santa Barbara, CA


Nick Blantern (right) of Britishstoneworks receives the Grande Pinnacle Award from Mauro Albano, manager of the Marmomacc Fair.

CLEVELAND, OH -- The Marble Institute of America (MIA) announced the winners of the 2011 Pinnacle Awards competition last month during its annual Awards Luncheon, held during StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2012. This year, the MIA presented the 4th annual Grande Pinnacle Award, sponsored by Marmomacc to Britishstoneworks of Lakewood, OH for the restoration of the Spirit of the Ocean Fountain in Santa Barbara, CA, which sits outside the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, a National Historic Landmark.

The original Spirit of the Ocean Fountain, first created in 1927, decayed and fell apart over the decades due to natural deterioration and human neglect. In order to recreate the sculpture to its original condition, five blocks of Santa Barbara Sandstone were cut from nearby boulders. The stone was craned onto the lawn of the courthouse, and a 40- x 40-foot carving studio was set up, opening the project to public viewing for the its seven month duration.

The artisans from Britishstoneworks, MIA member Hunt Studios, and other project team members used old photos and a Styrofoam replica of the original fountain for guidance. Using chisels with tips custom shaped to match the original chisels used, the artists’ goal was to get as close to the original fountain as possible, without losing a single detail. “To say they accomplished their goal would be an understatement. Their dedication to the craft and professionalism in replicating the original sculpture allowed Britishstonworks to be rewarded with the greatest honor in the natural stone industry,” the MIA noted.

The Pinnacle Awards recognize excellence in commercial, residential, sustainability and restoration of natural stone projects worldwide. Projects selected as winners must demonstrate exceptional beauty, creativity, ingenuity, and craftsmanship in the use of granite, marble, travertine, limestone, and other natural stones. The competition is open to MIA members around the world.

The 2011 Pinnacle Awards winners are:

  • Commercial Exterior Award of Excellence to KEPCO+ of Salt Lake City, UT for the 5,000-acre Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, CA.
  • Commercial Exterior Award of Excellence to KEPCO+ of Salt Lake City, UT, and Bestview International of Wood Dale, IL, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Vancouver Temple project in Langley, BC.
  • Commercial Exterior Award of Excellence to KEPCO+ of Salt Lake City, UT, and Bestview International of Wood Dale, IL, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Church History Library in Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Commercial Interior Award of Merit to Las Vegas Rock of Jean, NV, for the Sahra Spa at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, NV.
  • Commercial Interior Award of Merit to SMG Stone Company, Inc. of Sun Valley, CA, for the District Attorney’s Office Building in Riverside, CA.
  • Commercial Interior Award of Merit to Marmol Export, U.S.A. of Miami, FL for Mr. Chow restaurant in South Beach, FL.
  • Residential Interior/Exterior Award of Merit to Connecticut Stone Supplies, Inc. of Milford, CT for a private residence.
  • Residential Interior/Exterior Award of Merit to Dee Brown, Inc. of Garland, TX for a private residence in Dallas, TX.
  • Residential Interior/Exterior Award of Merit to Stones and Roses International Co. Ltd. of Samutprakarn, Thailand for Sukhumvit 22 Residence in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Sustainability Award of Merit to Polycor of Quebec, Canada for the FMU Performing Arts Center in Florence, SC.
  • Sustainability Award of Merit to Eclad Limited of Dublin, Ireland for the Convention Centre Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.


Judges for the 2011 Pinnacle Awards competition were:

  • Ron Fiegenschuh of Lehman Smith McLeish (LSM) in Washington, D.C.
  • James McCrery of McCrery Architects in Washington, D.C.
  • Christian R. Pongratz of Pongratz Perbellini Architects in Verona, Italy
  • Brett Rugo, the Immediate MIA Past President, of Rugo Stone LLC in Lorton, VA