100 years of the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association
NTMA Contractors •
The first terrazzo floors in the US were laid in the 1890s by Italian mosaic workers, marking the beginning of the transfer of the terrazzo industry to our shores. In the 1920s, the American terrazzo industry truly took off when architects discovered terrazzo’s design potential for Art Deco designs. Electric grinding machines and divider strips added to the momentum. With the growing terrazzo industry came the need for a trade organization to support the contractors for a sustainable future.
In 1923, Costante Cassini originally from Cavasso Nuovo in Friuli, formed a vision for that organization. He invited 27 terrazzo and mosaic contractors from around the nation to meet in Chicago at the historic La Salle Hotel downtown, creating the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Contractors Association.
By 1926, 60 contractor firms had joined the association with 40 of those being owned by Italians or Italian-Americans. The early membership rolls of the NTMA track the expansion of this exceptional trade across the nation.
In 1929, supplier members joined the organization and the name changed to the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association.
The subsequent years saw the second generation of many family-owned companies taking the helm. Today we see some fifth and even sixth generations involved in carrying on this trade; a distinctive aspect of this group.
One hundred years later, the NTMA is 112 contractor members and 37 supplier members strong. Remarkably, 27 current member companies have been NTMA members for over 75 years.
A century ago, this association was established on the vision of our founders and their realization that this trade was an exceptional one; an industry built on expertise, integrity, ingenuity, and cooperation.
Today, the NTMA celebrates the enduring, beautifully visible legacy sustained in every terrazzo job as we prepare for the next 100 years.