Oh, how the retro world loves breeze blocks. That is: Decorative concrete blocks. No one can know for sure how many designs were made, but I bet that Jack LeVine‘s collection, displayed like art in the back yard of his lovely Las Vegas home — gives us the best count we have so far. How many breeze blocks are in his collection? He says: 34. When I visited his house as part of Nevada Preservation Foundation‘s Vintage Las Vegas Home & History Tour a few months ago, I tried to photograph them all. Finally: Here’s the stash to ogle — and covet. Get yer scrolling finger ready, set, go!
Where to find decorative concrete blocks – also known as architectural screen blocks? This question is coming up a lot, and I would like to build the definitive list right here. I tend to believe that you need to buy this stuff locally or regionally — or the shipping costs will kill you.
Many thanks to Scathing Jane for researching this list, and to JHL III who sent me the question (and one repeat find) prompting me to finally feature Jane’s list.
Do you know of a supplier in your area? Send me an email or leave a comment below, and I will add it to this list. Alphabetically, here’s what we have so far: .
- Angelus Block– Southern California region, from the Central California Coast and Southern San Joaquin Valley to the Low Deserts and San Diego. Thank you, Mark, for this Dec. 2018 addition!
- Cloverleaf seems to be on Home Depot’s website. Thanks, Marisa, for the tip! BUT NOTE HOWEVER, I think this is from a company Basalite, and you can only get it on the west coast including: California, Nevada,Washington, Colorado, Idaho, BC, and Alberta,
- Phoenix & more: Superlite – has a few designs. Thank you, Vintage Velo Feb. 2016 for help with this new link!
- ABC-Central Block and Brick — Russel in Comments says: “Interestingly enough, their website doesn’t show any of the shaped ones they make, but driving by they have pallet after pallet of all shapes and styles.”
- Littleton & Pueblo: Boral Best Block used to be on this list, but we now get a broken link…
- Dacono: St. Vrain
- St. Petersburg: Carroll’s Building Materials
- Venice: White Cement Specialities
- Orlando: A1 Block Corp. — The lead photo above is from A1’s terrific website – family-owned since 1952. 🙂
- Kapolei: Tile Co. Inc.
- Consumer’s Concrete — had screen block when this story was originally written, not sure any more…
- Joplin Building Material Co and Springfield Brick Co — in Joplin and Springfield, respectively, manufacture and stock clover and star screen blocks.
- Allied Building Materials looks like it stock Orco. Thanks, Heidi, for the tip!
- Ted in Comments says Cemex in Ashville says they can supply it in limited styles; but it is not shown on their website. However, update June 2018, from Deborah, and she says this is no longer available — but try Cemex in Jacksonville, Fla.
- Niagara Block added July 2018 by Daniela, who said, “They have quite a few styles, but they don’t have them in stock all the time. Check under “architectural block”.”
- Philadelphia area, three locations: Fizzano Brothers. Frannie’s tip in Comments: “I just went down and picked some up for a project I’m doing in Brooklyn.
They cost between $1.20 and $3.50 each, they have two styles, and weigh about 26 pounds each. They also told me that they have a retail distributor for them in Northern New Jersey. I’m sure if you called them they could give you the info.
- Greensburg Concrete Block, Greensburg, PA (added July 2016)
Puerto Rico, via Carlos:
- -Fabrica de balaustres Nelson Noriega, 787-366-4115
-Artesania Sinai, 787-243-3079
-Empresas Ferhanni, 787-251-4430 http://www.empresasferhanni.com These might also produce blocks:
– Balaustres Alfonso 787-263-3122
– Junior’s Balaustres 787-616-2073
– Fabrica de Balaustres Ornamentales 787-823-3150
- Cranston: Park Ave Cement Block
- Dotty in Comments poitns to Augusta Concrete Block in North Augusta; website inconclusive but this one sounds promising.
- Per Laura, July 2018: I just learned that Tankersley Concrete in Lewisburg, TN produces and sells them. At present, they have two patterns: #399 Flower (often called Cloverleaf) and #401 Half Moon (this is the only place I’ve seen this pattern), but they have until recently produced the #397 Box-in-box pattern as well (the mold is cracked and they haven’t replaced it).
- Headwaters Construction, San Antonio — Wendy said she found the Square in Square pattern here in 2012.
- Austin: MPI Austin. Reader Chelsea went there in 2017 and said they had two designs.
- Austin: Clay Imports – nice designs imported from Mexico! Added 7-10-2018.
Search the U.S. some more:
- Macrae’s Blue Book, via tip from Amy
- Dee Why, NSW: Besser Block
- Claytone Products
Slide show of patterned concrete block styles available from various suppliers. Click on first thumbnail to start the show, then click on the arrow below the image to move forward or back:
Las Vegas is the new Palm Springs. I’m declaring it. I’m gonna buy me a leetle place. I’m heading back to Las Vegas. I bought my airline tickets last night. I’m going to go to all the activities lined up for Nevada Preservation Foundation’s “A Celebration of Vegas Cool” — Home + History 2018, April 27-29.
There were so many fantastic finds, cool summer getaways and darn cute photos of readers — we love it when you get in the photos, too — in our recent end of summer uploader. Above: Readers Jennie and Aidan got married this summer in a retro-style wedding — love! Thanks so much for sharing everyone! Pam had me go through the 200+ photos to pick out some of my favorites, and here they are in no particular order. Heck yeah there is more →
I had the best time at the Nevada Preservation Foundation’s Home & History tour on May 8. My speech went really well — and I had such fun doing it — no nerves whatsoever talking in front of 250 people about this topic I love, “Love The House You’re In.” And then, the really fun part: Touring 10 mid mod houses clustered in two mid mod Las Vegas neighborhoods. Over the next several weeks, I’m going to milk this trip for all it’s worth — there’s a lot to cover!!! — by giving you a peek into some of the fabulousness we all saw, with a dash of Las Vegas midcentury modern history thrown in. First up: A look inside the first house I visited, the home of Jack LeVine — a realtor and blogger who was one of the The Very First People that I “met” when I started the blog eight years ago. He has been one of the biggest boosters of midcentury homes in Las Vegas for many years!Heck yeah there is more →
Jade green Chinese breezeway tiles were a very desirable decorative feature in commercial tiki bars in the 1950s and 1960s — but those green ceramic tiles, which are no longer made new, can be very difficult to come by. So what a delight to spot this large stash of salvaged vintage tiles — I heard there were 3,000 at one point(!) — recently. They are from a tear-down house in China, the seller said. This supply is located near Tampa, Florida, and I think that, with all such rarities, it would be best, if you are in the market, to get ’em while you can >>> Vintage Chinese breeze tile classically used in tiki bars <<<(affiliate link). Heck yeah there is more →