McKim, Mead & White

McKim, Mead & White was an American architectural firm that came to define architectural practice, urbanism, and the ideals of the American Renaissance in fin de siècle New York. The firm's founding partners Charles Follen McKim (1847–1909), William Rutherford Mead (1846–1928) and Stanford White (1853–1906) were giants in the architecture of their time, and remain important as innovators and leaders in the development of modern architecture worldwide. They formed a school of classically trained, technologically skilled designers who practiced well into the mid-twentieth century.[1] According to Robert A. M. Stern, only Frank Lloyd Wright was more important to the identity and character of modern American architecture.[2]

The principals of the McKim, Mead & White architecture firm: William Rutherford Mead, Charles Follen McKim, and Stanford White (left to right)

The firm's New York City buildings include Manhattan's former Pennsylvania Station, the Brooklyn Museum, and the main campus of Columbia University. Elsewhere in New York State and New England, the firm designed college, library, school and other buildings such as the Boston Public Library and Rhode Island State House. In Washington, D.C., the firm renovated the West and East Wings of the White House, and designed Roosevelt Hall on Fort Lesley J. McNair and the National Museum of American History. Across the United States, the firm designed buildings in Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin. Other examples are in Canada, Cuba and Italy. The scope and breadth of their achievement is astounding, considering that many of the technologies and strategies they employed were nascent or non-existent when they began working in the 1880s.[3]


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