Stanford White

White, Stanford, 1853–1906, American architect, b. New York City; son of Richard Grant White. In 1872 he entered the office of Gambrill and Richardson in Boston, at the time when H. H. Richardson was at the peak of his fame. There White worked upon the design for Trinity Church, Boston. After studying in Europe, he entered (1879) into partnership with C. F. McKim and W. R. Mead, a firm that was to affect the course of American architecture over a long period. White had a passionate love of beauty; his special talents were for the decorative elements of a building and for its interior design and furnishing. He also possessed a wide knowledge of antiques. Among the buildings executed by the firm, those that are commonly ascribed as his individual accomplishments include the second Madison Square Garden, Madison Square Presbyterian Church, the New York Herald Building, Washington Arch, and the Century Club, all in New York City; only the last two still stand. These buildings illustrated his characteristic concentration upon rich and graceful effects and especially upon beautifully sculptured Renaissance ornament. White was shot and killed in Madison Square Roof Garden by Harry K. Thaw because of his love affair with Thaw's wife, Evelyn Nesbit Thaw. After his death the firm continued to design buildings in his style that later were erroneously attributed to White himself, e.g., the Harvard Club, New York City.

See biography by C. C. Baldwin (1931, repr. 1971); P. Baker, Stanny (1990); M. Broderick, Triumvirate: McKim, Mead &White (2011).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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