Old School and New Style Come Together with Beautiful Landscapes
Retaining Wall Built Easy No Mortar, No Footings
Mario Iantosca is old school. He learned his trade from his father in Naples Italy, where stonemasons have practiced their trade for thousands of years. When Mario immigrated to the Boston area, he carried on the family tradition. He began installing brick, block and stone the old fashioned way, with mortar and footings. When Allan Block was introduced in his area in the early 1990’s, Mario was one of the first to try the "new product".
"My first Allan Block project was a set of three terraced retaining walls, each about four ft. high (1.2 m). I made sure the walls were spaced properly and the rest was easy. With Allan Block, all you need is good crushed stone and some common sense. The blocks go together like butter on bread. I drive by that wall from time to time and it still looks great," says Mario.
"Allan Block [Retaining Walls] is easy. I get more block up in a day because you don’t need footings or mortar, and the walls turn out beautiful" - Mario Iantosca.
They liked the front walls so well, they built small retaining walls in back and along the side of the drive
Steve and Civita Fulchini were just getting settled in to their new home in Hammersmith Village. Their homeowner association required all landscaping to be completed much sooner than they had anticipated, and knew they needed retaining walls. They stopped in at Linden and Malden Supply in Malden, MA and talked to John Rappoli for advice. John, a long time Allan Block dealer, took them through the AB Collections, explaining the price and color options along the way. Civita loved the look of the AB Europa Collection, Allan Block’s antiqued line of products, and especially liked the patterned walls. Steve found a color in the AB Ashlar Collection that complimented their home’s brick exterior perfectly, and at a more affordable price. They decided to go with an AB Ashlar Blend patterened wall. Mario Iantosca was recommended to install the project.
"I visited Steve and Civita at the site and they were thinking one larger wall would do the job. But I could see a set of three walls with a planting space in between, and they liked that idea too. When I brought the engineer out to check the site and soil conditions, he wondered how I would get the stairway up through the walls and still meet code. I told him not to worry and to come back in a couple days to check the job. If you are used to working with your hands, Allan Block is easy. I get more block up in a day because you don’t need footings or mortar, and the walls turn out beautiful," says Mario.
Steve and Civita are ecstatic with the work. They liked the front retaining walls so well, they had Mario use the AB Stones in a matching color to build small walls in back and along the side of the drive. And Mario is happy to be building the same quality of walls his family has been building for generations. Old world craftsmanship with Allan Block.
Excerpt from Landscape Newsletter Issue #12