An architectural gem of Edinburgh’s New Town exists at 66 Queen Street. Perhaps of particular interest to visitors from the U.S.A. is the connection with the White House, official residence of the President in Washington.
Both 66 and 67 Queen Street were built for General Sir Ralph Abercromby of Tullibody and Mr William Tait by masons John and James Williamson. John Williamson went to the U.S. and became chief stonemason on the White House. Today the Edinburgh houses remain elegant survivors of the original 18th century New Town of Edinburgh taking advantage of the northern views. Also surviving are the cast-iron railings and original wrought-iron lamp standards.
John Williamson was also responsible for the naming of the Presidential building because of the application of a white nonporous coating applied on top of the sandstone to protect against water penetration. This was customary to building practice in Scotland at the time.