Terrazzo Points in Plankinton Arcade

by Gay Spencer 16. January 2012 16:56

In the last week I've extolled the virtues of stairs, which is no surprise to folks who've seen the last few decades of my photographs. Less known is that I love terrazzo floors almost as much. You know terrazzo?

Terrazzo is a composite material poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of marble, quartz, granite, glass or other suitable chips, sprinkled or unsprinkled, and poured with a binder that is cementitious, chemical or a combination of both. Terrazzo is cured, ground and polished to a smooth surface or otherwise finished to produce a uniformly textured surface.
And the combination? Yes! Terrazzo stairs are photographically irresistable! I once imagined doing a book of photographs of terrazzo. Sometimes in university buildings, old terrazzo stairs that students have climbed for generations seem to be almost breathing with character.

This old thing is new again. They are the ultimate in sustainable flooring! Wikipedia says:

Terrazzo flooring is an original recycled product, created centuries ago by Venetian workers using the waste chips from slab marble processing.

The terrazzo pictured is in Plankinton Arcade in Milwaukee around a fountain.

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