A family-owned business with deep roots in limestone, Bybee Stone Company was founded in 1979 by Wilbur C. Bybee (1926-2001). Wilbur had been fascinated as a child by his grandfather Henry Woolery’s limestone mill in Bloomington, Ind., and went to work at Woolery Stone Company when World War II ended. Noticing his own sons’ interest, he bought the former Matthews Brothers Mill in Ellettsville, Ind., in 1979.
The Matthews Mill, which had been producing cut stone since 1864, came equipped with machinery – including the 80-year-old gang saws that would prove useful in Bybee Stone Company’s ability to replicate older finishes, such as the finish needed for the Pentagon restoration in 2001.
Wilbur Bybee’s three decades’ worth of experience at his grandfather’s company, coupled with his ability to attract talented foremen and skilled craftsmen, proved immensely successful. More than three decades later, his company continues to supply the finest building material in the world –dimensional limestone – for high-profile projects throughout the world.
James Daniel Bybee, the company’s second CEO, was as focused as his father on the bedrock values of the company: a good reputation built on craftsmanship. “Remember,” he commented in 1989, “that everyone at BSC – and everything they do – is important. It’s just as crucial that an anchor hole is cut correctly as it is that a tracery window or a ramp and twist balustrade is cut with precision.”
The Building Stone Institute honored Dan Bybee, a longstanding BSI member, with a prize given in his name each year. The Bybee Prize is given to an individual architect whose body of work is noted for its design and its use of natural stone. Recipients include Malcolm Holzman, FAIA; M. Paul Friedberg, FASLA; César Pelli, FAIA; Lawrence Halprin, FASLA; and Henry N. Cobb, FAIA. For more information about the James Daniel Bybee Prize, see Associations.
The company’s third president, Will Bybee, took office after his brother Dan’s untimely death on Dec. 19, 2000, and today maintains the same solid standards. “Our quality craftsmen create the hallmark for this prime building material,” he said. “They’re proud of everything they’ve done – their work on the Pentagon, in 2001, springs to mind. Every employee felt personally involved in restoring it.”
Bybee Stone Company’s mission continues to include staying abreast of technology while maintaining its ability to handle time-tested and antique finishes. Sustainability and a sensitivity to its functional footprint is also at the forefront of the company’s focus.