Piedra Mar del Plata : An Argentine orthoquartzite worthy of being considered as a Global Heritage Stone Resource
Although Argentina is a large country, only a few local stones meet the requirements to be used for construction purposes. Piedra Mar del Plata is a quartzite that has been used for more than 50 years, mainly as a building stone. During the 1930s and 1950s, its use in the construction of houses in the city of Mar del Plata (a famous beach resort) created a distinctive architectural style. Because of its durability and availability, the use of this stone rapidly spread to other parts of the country. Sculptures and monuments have also been made out of this stone. Mar del Plata architectural style is now part of the heritage of Argentina and represents the rise of the middle class, when local citizens could afford to build their own houses in a style different from the mansions, which were constructed by rich families with imported stone.