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Best Vintage Lumber

  • M. Fine Lumber Co.

    1301 Metropolitan Ave., Greenpoint; 718-381-5200

    Beams made from longleaf yellow pine—incredibly strong, incredibly handsome—were the lumber of choice for East Coast builders a century ago, and by World War II those slow-growing trees had just about been used up. But M. Fine Lumber gives them a second life. When old buildings are torn down, Fine comes in to grab the best beams and planks, carting them to its 60,000-square-foot yard in Greenpoint and turning them into flooring and paneling good for another hundred years. The Fines have paired gorgeous old timbers with similarly glorious new projects: a living room for Calvin Klein, a vaulted ceiling for Julian Schnabel, shelving for Kate Spade. “No one does exactly what we do on our scale,” says Merritt Fine, great-grandson of founder Myer Fine. “We buy everything, and it helps everyone—the seller, me, the buyer, the environment.”

From the 2009 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine