|Living The Art Of Terrazzo
Written by Terrazzo Artist Michael C. Menegazzi
Today Terrazzo is created, as it has been throughout the centuries, by artisans who see each new job, each new floor as a unique event! No two "pours" are the same. This fact remains the key issue the stimulus for so many men like my father, Remiggio (Raymond) Arturo Menegazzi, 1917-1993, and his father, Alfredo Giacomo Phillipo Menegazzi, 1889-1972.
I am Michael C. Menegazzi, and I had the honor and privilege to be my father's helper for seven years on so many wonderful and significant projects like one million square foot Terrazzo pour at LAX, the Long Beach Court House, The Los Angeles Federal Building, The Mark Taper Forum at the Los Angeles Music Center, the Jules Stein Eye Institute and Business Administration Buildings at UCLA, not to mention dozens of banks, churches and schools.
I went on to become a journeyman, but the bulk of my career involved more high production jobs like six to seven of the shopping malls (Westminster, Del Amo, Cerritos, Fox Hills, Topanga, Hawthorne, Montclair, and the Glendale Galleria) to say nothing of the dozens of markets and super-drugstores! I was the foreman on jobs for several banks, schools, residences and The Richard Nixon Library.
In the mid 1970's, Terrazzo fell (or was pushed) into disfavor until its recent slight resurgence. So, in order to stay with "my company" (Venetian Terrazzo which then became Venetian Tile) I became a tile setter. I have, thereby, enjoyed an equally split career between the two trades.
Finally, for the last five years I've accepted and held the position of the Terrazzo (and tile) Instructor for the Local Joint Apprenticeship Committee (J.A.C.) and the National Organization the International Masonry Institute in Washington, D.C.
When I look back over the years whether it be Terrazzo or tile, the jobs that were the toughest, most complicated and demanding with intricate designs and so forth, are the only ones really worth remembering.
My long-term relationship with my good friend, Theodore Lambros, a very long time member of the local Terrazzo business community and owner of Arcadian Flooring Company, has given me the opportunity to run so many jobs, that without his bringing them to my attention, I would have never encountered them. Because of this association - presently with Arcadian Flooring of Alhambra - I have been exposed to many keen and interesting projects. The restoration of the old class emblems at Eagle Rock High School plus the installation of some six to seven "new" medallions is one such project that is both challenging and enjoyable.
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