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McKim, Mead, and White

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Works American Academy in Rome, at Rome, Italy, 1913.
Boston Public Library, at Boston, Massachusetts, 1887 to 1895.
Isaac Bell House, at Newport, Rhode Island, 1881 to 1883.
Morgan Library, at New York, New York, 1906.
New York Herald Building, at New York, New York, 1894.
New York Racquet Club, at New York, New York, 1916 to 1919.
Newport Casino, at Newport, Rhode Island, 1879 to 1880.
Pennsylvania Station, at New York, New York, 1910.
Rhode Island State Capitol, at Providence, Rhode Island, 1895 to 1903.
University Club, at New York, New York, 1900.
W. G. Low House, at Bristol, Rhode Island, 1887.

      map of works

Biography

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McKim, Mead, and White

(McKim—b. Pennsylvania, 1847; d. St. James, New York 1909)
(Mead—b.Vermont, 1846; d. Paris, France, 1928)
(White—b. New York, 1853; d. New York, 5 June 1906)

A leading American architecture firm, founded by created by Charles McKim, William Mead, and Stanford White, that created much memorable Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States.

"The success of the firm was due to the complementary nature of the three partners—McKim the idealist, Mead the pragmatist, and White the sensualist. McKim's ardent idealism and adherence to universal principles were shaped by the example of his father, a leading activist and fundraiser for the abolitionist cause... Mead was the realist of the trio, serving as in-house engineer... White was the firebrand, eager to break precedent, to use new materials, to experiment with building form... The high professional ideals of both McKim and White were developed during serveral years as assistans in the office of Henry Hobson Richardson."

— Leland M. Roth, in the International Dictionary of Architects, St. James Press, p564-565.

Charles Follen McKim was born and raised in southeastern Pennsylvania. He studied for a year at the Harvard Lawrence Scientific School. During the summer of 1867, he worked in the office of Russel Sturgis, New York. He then spent three years at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, with periods of travel in France and England.

Spurning current Parisian architectural fashions, McKim learned the value of comprehensive planning, the power of the integrated details, and the importance of symbolism. He returned to the United States in 1870 and entered the office of Henry Hobson Richardson in New York, where he began to obtain his own commissions.

McKim sought clear geometries and order in his architecture. In his earlier Shingle style houses, he adopted many elements derived from the close study of American colonial architecture both in material and detail, from Japanese architecture, and from the slate-covered medieval buildings in rural France. With his partners in McKim, Mead, & White, he eventually adopted classical ideas of planning and symbolism to meet the needs of both residential and civic architecture.

Charles McKim died in St. James, New York 1909

Details

Charles Follen McKim, William Rutherford Mead, and Stanford White.

"Despite being known for its Beaux-Arts architecture at the turn of the 20th century, the firm remained active into the 1960s under its original name and designed the prominent National Museum of American History in Washington DC, one of the firm's last works, opening in 1964. McKim Mead & White was also involved with an urban renewal project at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in the 1950s and designed three buildings as part of the project: DeKalb Hall, ISC Building and North Hall. In 1961, McKim, Mead & White was succeeded by the firm Steinman, Cain, and White. By 1971 it had become Walker O. Cain and Associates." — Wikipedia, 2008.0227

Resources Sources on McKim, Mead, and White

McKim, Mead, & White. The Architecture of McKim, Mead, & White in Photographs, Plans, and Elevations. New York: Dover Publications, 1990. ISBN 0-486-26556-0. LC 90-43684. NA737.M4A4. — Available at Amazon.com

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