Edward D. Stone

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Edward D. Stone

(b. Fayetteville, Arkansas 1902; d. New York, New York 1978)

Stone was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 1902. He studied at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, then apprenticed himself to Henry R. Shepley in Boston until 1925. After completing his studies at Harvard University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , he received a Rotch Travelling Scholarship to Europe which lasted from 1927 to 1929.

As one the the earliest American exponents of the International Style, Stone had a major impact upon architectural education in the United States during the 1950s. He helped transform the International Style modernism of the 1950s into the postmodernism of the 1960s and 1970s by substituting formalism for functionalism.

Stone's formalism developed during in his Beaux-Arts education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his apprenticeship in the New York office of Schultze and Weaver. Stone attributed his shift from a somewhat severe modernism toward the more ornamental formalism of his later career to his second wife, Maria Torchio, whom he met in 1953.

In typical modernist fashion, Stone allows his buildings to stand as isolated objects in open space. He arranges his buildings as large multi-functional central spaces ringed by smaller enclosed rooms of more definite purpose. Unlike many modernists, he uses luxurious materials and a profusion of decorative details.

Stone's later architecture responded to the middle-class taste for a vulgar display of wealth. It also satisfied the equally characteristic American preference for efficiency and straightforwardness. Stone expressed wealth and thrift by covering his large box-like buildings with vivid ornamentation.

Randall J. Van Vynckt. International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture: Volume 1- Architects. London: St. James Press, 1993. ISBN 1-55862-087-7. NA40.I48 1993. p779-780.

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