McKim, Mead & White: The Early Years with guest speaker Prof. Mosette Broderick Thursday, April 29th 6:00-7:15pm (ET) via Zoom
Everyone starts somewhere. Even lauded Starchitects like the trio of McKim, Mead & White had to make their way up from someplace. C. F. McKim was raised in a notable Abolitionist household. High on activism, low on money. Stanford White's father was a poorly adjusted snob and intellectual, someone we might today dub "financially challenged". William Rutherford Mead was the cousin of a future U.S. President—a connection that, alas, never proved useful. Mead was the only one of the three to get a college degree and, likely, never designed anything. He was destined to be the glue that kept the partners from making "Damned Fools of Themselves".LANDMARK WEST! is honored to have Prof. Mosette Broderick- architectural historian and author of "Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White" - take us behind the drafting table for a unique peek at the early years of "The Real Architects of New York City", the individuals who became the icons. Recalls Prof. Broderick, "Long, long ago when I was in college, my art history instructor stood on Madison Avenue looking at 78th Street and pointed to the SW and NW corners and remarked that these were architecturally significant houses by a once famous architectural firm. The class was blank. But one student piped up. Yes, she responded, the house on the north side was designed by Stanford White and my grandfather killed him." Hmmm.
Few knew of McKim, Mead & White then, but now they are the best known architects of the period. McKim, Mead and White were each rather undistinguished as young men. How did they ever become the gold standard of American architecture? The answer - - three losers become one big winner working together! The sum of the parts.
This is definitely going to be fun. ~~
Prof. Mosette Broderick's interest in preservation was spurred by the efforts to save the McKim, Mead & White designed Villard Houses. An architectural historian, Broderick frequently provided expert opinions to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on behalf of landmark designation proposals. She is Director of the Urban Design and Architecture Studies program as well as the London-based MA program in Historical and Sustainable Architecture in the Department of Art History at New York University. She is the author of "Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White: Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America’s Gilded Age" (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010).
Photo banner, L to R: 169 W. 83rd Street, Landmark West; Goelet Building c. 1886, American Architect Building News; Villard Houses, Wikimedia Commons; Penn Station main waiting room c. 1911, Wikimedia Commons.
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