Granite from the north-east is being shipped to America for the multi-million-dollar restoration of New York City’s oldest apartment block.
Rock from Peterhead was used in the creation of The Windermere in the 1880s, when it was opened for a growing class of single and financially independent women in the upmarket Upper West Side.
Engineers now working to return the building to its former glory consulted old records before contacting natural stone specialists Fyfe Glenrock, and asking them to send over three ornamental pillars to ensure a “perfect match”.
The Aberdeenshire firm has since produced, polished and finished the pillars – and they are now in transit.
Commercial manager, Richard Collinson, visited New York three years ago and said he was struck by the amount of Peterhead granite used in buildings.
He said: “If you look at the history books, a lot of masons from the north-east migrated to and from America in the late 1800s.
“Due to the fact that they had a knowledge of indigenous Scottish granite and its properties, it is understandable that they would seek out Scottish materials to use there.
“So, it wasn’t only the men, but the materials, that made the transatlantic journey.
“We’re talking about 120 years ago when stonemasonry would still have been a relatively young industry in the new world.”
He added: “It’s always very interesting when we get an unusual request like this, and we’re delighted to be able to help restore a building of such significant historical interest.”
The Windermere was completed around 1881 as a complex of three seven-storey red brick buildings.
It was among the first buildings in the city to offer amenities such as hydraulic elevators and telephones.
Many decades later the 57th Street site was converted into single-occupancy residences one of its most famous past residents is actor Steve McQueen.
The building slowly fell into a state of decline and in 2007 was declared unsafe by the fire department. Two years later it was bought by a developer is now being transformed into a plush hotel.
Granite from Peterhead was used extensively throughout the UK and abroad during the 19th century.
It comes in red and blue varieties, red is used for ornamental construction and can be found in buildings across London, Liverpool and Cambridge.
The blue variety is used for decorative purposes and can be found in the fountains in Trafalgar Square in London.