North east granite for New York building

Work is carried out on granite for The Windermere in New York
Work is carried out on granite for The Windermere in New York

Three ornamental pillars crafted from Peterhead granite are making their way across the Atlantic for use in the restoration of a historic New York building after some detective work by Scottish stonemasons.

Natural stone specialists Fyfe Glenrock were able to identify the type of granite required for the multi-million-dollar restoration of the Big Apple’s oldest apartment block from a photograph of the existing columns.

The Oldmeldrum-based firm was contacted by counterparts in the States seeking a perfect match for three polished granite pillars at The Windermere, on the city’s upmarket Upper West Side.

Original shipping and building records suggested that the stone for the pillars had been imported from Scotland, prompting Swenson Stone Consultants in New Hampshire to contact a firm with a worldwide reputation for granite quarrying and craftsmanship.

Fyfe Glenrock commercial manager Richard Collinson said: “We have worked with this firm in the past so they were aware of our knowledge of Scottish granites and they emailed asking for confirmation of the identity of the granite used on the building which they believed to be from Aberdeenshire.

“The photo they sent had sufficient detail for us to know that the pillars had been created from Peterhead granite. 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 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 and the major refurbishment will see the building reopen its doors as a plush hotel, with retail space and a number of private apartments.

The pillars have been produced, polished and finished at Fyfe Glenrock’s base in Oldmeldrum and are now being shipped to the USA where, said Mr Collinson, they will not look out of place.