November 16, 2018
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Indiana Rocks

As the 19th state admitted to the Union celebrates its 200th birthday this year, we’re helping ring in Indiana’s bicentennial by presenting Hoosier Facts — bits of knowledge that highlight what makes Indiana special.
Empire Quarry in southern Monroe County provided the Indiana oolitic limestone for the Empire State Building.

Some of the world’s finest limestone can be found in quarries tucked in hills of the towns of nearby Bloomington and Bedford, Indiana.

Located in Bloomington, Empire Quarry is the most famous quarry in the area, having provided nearly 19,000 tons and 207,000 cubic feet of stone for construction of the Empire State Building in New York City.

Removal of the quarry’s limestone resulted in today’s beautiful scenery and views, like the sheer walls and the deep man-made pools which exhibit a vibrant emerald color from the limestone minerals.

While locals have long been tempted to tour Empire Quarry (owned by Indiana Limestone Co.), it is illegal: “No Trespassing” signs are clearly posted. In recent years, Indiana Limestone Co. has occasionally offered the rare opportunity to visit the quarry through organized tours.

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