Memorable homes begin with the driveway!

Architect R. Michael Graham designed this stunning mansion using Historic European Cobblestone for the grand entrance.

Architect R. Michael Graham of Liederbach and Graham Architects, designed a true revivalist mansion for his clients outside of Chicago and knew he wanted to create something “100 percent real” taking his inspiration from the early-20th-century Anglo-American country houses. “Every detail is as it might have been built when houses were made like that.”  With this in mind, his authentic design included this grand 2,500 SF driveway entrance. In collaboration with landscape designer Craig Bergman Landscape Design, the vision was to have a 100% traditional European fan pattern. Only real authentic antique cobblestone would meet expectations. Monarch Stone International was proud to supply the perfect size and type of genuine antique cobblestone from our Historic European Cobblestone collection.

The project required an antique cobblestone with a color range more earthy than gray, which is extremely hard to find. The intricate fan pattern could only be accomplished by selecting the most rare and smallest of the authentic sizes in the ‘cube’ or ‘mosaic’ shaped cobbles; 3” to 4” in diameter. This size range is critically important – it allows the arc of the fan pattern to be achieved with the larger stones at the top of the curve, then graduating to smaller sizes towards the outer edges or bottom.

Owners selected classic European sandstone cobblestone. The sandstone name refers to the color hues, not the density. This specific stone type has been used in European villages for centuries and has the geological hardness to withstand freeze/thaw conditions found especially in places like the Chicago area. The 100% authentic reclaimed antique sandstone cobblestone in a natural earth color range in the smallest of sizes – mosaic cubes, worked perfectly to create this grand driveway entrance.

Monarch Stone International provided consultation to the installation team to ensure the traditional pattern was executed properly. The horseshoe shaped driveway in a fan pattern presented a unique challenge. Owner Anthony Van Liefde recommended fabricating three different size fan templates to accommodate the increase of scale as the circumference expanded. The templates were positioned on the radius and set to height, cobbles were then placed on sand and fitted within the frame. When completed the template was lifted and moved forward. This process eliminated the guess work and increased productivity.

This R.Michael Graham creation and designer Stephen Gambrel masterpiece, was on the November cover of Elle Decor Magazine, photos taken by Eric Piasecki Photography.  The complete range of genuine antique cobblestone and curb imported by Monarch Stone International can be found here: Historic European Cobblestone .com.

Fan Pattern Template