McKim, Mead, & White
Then came the Boston Public Library (1887–8), with a façade treatment derived from Labrouste's Bibliothèque Ste-Genéviève, Paris, but given a more Italian Roman flavour. This celebrated design made the firm's reputation. Madison Square Garden, NYC (1887–91—demolished), had a pronounced Sevillian flavour in its tall tower, but the Rhode Island State Capitol, Providence (1891–1903), was influenced by the Federal Capitol in Washington, DC, with a Wrenaissance dome. At Columbia University, NYC (1893–4), both the New Sorbonne in Paris and Jefferson's University of Virginia, Charlottesville, were precedents for the plan, and the Library Building, with its Pantheon dome and long portico of Ionic columns, entered the language of Neo-Classicism. This growing interest in Antiquity reached its apogee in the enormous and brilliant Pennsylvania Station, NYC (1902–11—destroyed), with the gigantic hall based on the thermae of Caracalla, Rome. It not only worked extremely well, but was the most Sublime work of architecture in the USA—its destruction was a grievous loss, as was the demolition of the perfect Madison Square Presbyterian Church, NYC (1904–6), another variant on the Pantheon theme, but with polychrome enrichment. The Georgian Revival Symphony Hall, Boston (1892–1901), was much more subdued, but the series of great works of the three decades 1880–1910 (including the very fine J. Pierpont Morgan Library, NYC (1902–7)) put McKim, Mead, & White in the forefront of world architects of their time.
Stanford White was shot dead in 1906 in public in Madison Square Garden by a jealous rival in amorous matters. The ensuing publicity did enormous damage. However, the firm itself survived well into the second half of C20, and its achievements were celebrated in A Monograph of the Works of McKim, Mead, & White, 1879–1915 (1915 and 1973).
ARe, xx (1906), 153–246;
P. Baker (1989);
C. Baldwin (1976);
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
A. Roth (ed.) (1973, 1983);
Jane Turner (1996);
S. White (1998);
R. G. Wilson (1983);
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