NEW YORK – Most stone companies might balk at donating a large piece of granite-- especially if it's 20 tons.
   For Innovative Stone, however, this wasn't just any large rock. Their work – dubbed the Freedom Stone – will literally help form the foundation for the world's tallest building.
   And, the cornerstone also evokes the spirit of freedom at the site of the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan
   The Hauppauge, N.Y.-based company came into the project after being selected by the Silverstein organization, the developer of the WTC site, according to Newsday of xxx, N.Y. Innovation previously worked on New York's Time Warner Center with David Worsley, who now is a Silverstein executive.
   Innovative worked with Silverstein to select the stone, quarried in New York's upstate Adirondack Mountains by Barton Quarries. The piece selected includes flecks of garnet, New York's state stone.
   Innovative donated the stone, valued at $14,000, as well as cutting and polishing the stone and engraving/gold-leafing the inscription. During the stone's fabrication, New York Gov. George Pataki visited Innovative to observe the work.
   The Freedom Stone, four levels below the streets of lower Manhattan, will be enveloped by the Freedom Tower, Silverstein's initial effort in rebuilding at the WTC site. The building will include 2.6-million ft² of office space, and -- at 1,776 feet -- will be the world's tallest  building.
    "This project is a symbol of triumph and renewal," says Karen Pearse, Innovative's founder and CEO. "Everyone at Innovative Stone is extremely proud and honored to be a part of this tribute to New York City's resolve and optimism.
   "And, we were delighted to host Gov. Pataki at our Long Island facility to inspect the stone."
   Pearse also acknowledged the work of many people at Innovative in producing the stone; in particular, she noted project manager Anthony Iorio for his round-the-clock TLC for the stone.
   Gov. George Pataki, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey were among the officials dedicating the stone at ceremonies on July 4 at the new building's site. The Freedom Tower is scheduled for completion in 2009.