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Mediterranean craftsmen had been building timbral* vaulting - also known as Catalan vaulting - for at least 600 years before Raphael Guastavino emigrated to the US and started taking out patents on a developed form of the technique. This was in the 1870s, and over the next six decades he and his son Rafael Jr were responsible for 'Guastavino' vaults and domes on more than 1,000 signifi cant buildings on the US east coast.