Triumvirate

Triumvirate

McKim, Mead & White : Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America's Gilded Age

Book - 2010
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Random House, Inc.
A rich, fascinating saga of the most influential, far-reaching architectural firm of their time and of the dazzling triumvirate—Charles McKim, William Mead, and Stanford White—who came together, bound by the notion that architecture could help shape a nation in transition. They helped to refine America’s idea of beauty, elevated its architectural practice, and set the standard on the world’s stage.

Their world and times were those of Edith Wharton and Henry James, though both writers and their society shunned the architects as being much too much about new money. They brought together the titans of their age with a vibrant and new American artistic community and helped to forge the arts of America’s Gilded Age, informed by the heritage of European culture.

McKim, Mead & White built houses for America’s greatest financiers and magnates: the Astors, Joseph Pulitzer, the Vanderbilts, Henry Villard, and J. P. Morgan, among others . . . They designed and built churches—Trinity Church in Boston, Judson Memorial Baptist Church in New York, and the Lovely Lane Methodist Church in Baltimore . . .

They built libraries—the Boston Public Library—and the social clubs for gentlemen, among them, the Freundschaft, the Algonquin of Boston, the Players club of New York, the Century Association, the University and Metropolitan clubs. . . .

They built railroad terminals—the original Pennsylvania Station in New York City—and the first Roman arch in America for Washington Square (it put the world on notice that New York was now a major city on a par with Rome, Paris, and Berlin). They designed and built Columbia University, with Low Memorial Library at the centerpiece of its four-block campus, and New York University, and they built, as well, the old Madison Square Garden whose landmark tower marked its presence on the city’s skyline . . .

Mosette Broderick’s Triumvirate is a book about America in its industrial transition; about money and power, about the education of an unsophisticated young country, and about the coming of artists as an accepted class in American society.

Broderick, a renowned architectural and social historian, brilliantly weaves together the strands of biography, architecture, and history to tell the story of the houses and buildings Charles McKim, William Mead, and Stanford White designed. She writes of the firm’s clients, many of whom were establishing their names and places in upper-class society as they built and grabbed railroads, headed law firms and brokerage houses, owned newspapers, developed iron empires, and carved out a new direction for America’s modern age.

Baker & Taylor
Traces the story of the influential Gilded Age architectural firm, describing its partners' shared vision about the role of architecture in shaping a transitioning America and establishing an architectural practice that would set an international standard.

Book News
Broderick (architectural history, New York U.) has produced a fascinating history of three of America's most influential architects, detailing their projects as well as their personal fortunes and misfortunes. Set in the gilded age, and filled with stories about the prominent Americans who hired the architects, the volume describes the process of building and decorating their mansions, including buying trips made in Europe, as well as the design and construction of many prominent American monuments, including the Boston Public Library and Pennsylvania Station in New York City. Based on exhaustive research, Broderick follows the money for these projects, giving readers a clear idea of the frequently shocking costs along with the personal struggles that went into the buildings. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell Publishing
A Rich, Fascinating Saga of the most influential, far-reaching architectural firm of their time and of the dazzling triumvirate---Charles McKim, William Mead, and Stanford White---who came together, bound by the notion that architecture could help shape a nation in transition. They helped to refine America's idea of beauty, elevated its architectural practice, and set the standard on the world's stage.

Their world and times were those of Edith Wharton and Henry James, though both writers and their society shunned the architects as being too much about new money. They brought together the titans of their age with a vibrant and new American artistic community and helped to forge the arts of America's Gilded Age, informed by the heritage of European culture.

McKim, Mead & White built houses for America's greatest financiers and magnates: the Astors, Joseph Pulitzer, the Vanderbilts, Henry Villard, and J. P. Morgan, among others...They designed and built churches---Trinity Church in Boston, Judson Memorial Baptist Church in New York, and the Lovely Lane Methodist Church in Baltimore...

They built libraries---the Boston Public Library---and social clubs for gentlemen, among them, the Freundschaft, the Algonquin of Boston, the Players club of New York, the Century Association, the University and Metropolitan clubs...

They built railroad terminals---the original Pennsylvania Station in New York City---and the first Roman arch in America for Washington Square (it put the world on notice that New York was now a major city on a par with Rome, Paris, and Berlin). They designed and built Columbia University, with Low Memorial Library as the centerpiece of its four-block campus, and New York University, and they built as well the old Madison Square Garden, whose landmark tower marked its presence on the city's skyline...

Mosette Broderick's Triumvirate is a book about America in its industrial transition; about money and power, about the education of an unsophisticated young country, and about the coming of artists as an accepted class in American society.

Broderick, a renowned architectural and social historian, brilliantly weaves together the strands of biography, architecture, and history to tell the story of the houses and buildings Charles McKim, William Mead, and Stanford White designed. She writes of the firm's clients, many of whom were establishing their names and places in upperclass society as they built and grabbed railroads, headed law firms and brokerage houses, owned newspapers, developed iron empires, and carved out a new direction for America's modern age.

Baker
& Taylor

Traces the story of the Gilded Age architectural firm, describing its partners' shared vision about the role of architecture in shaping America and establishing an architectural practice that would set an international standard.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780394536620
0394536622
Characteristics: xxiii, 581 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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theamazingsteverino Aug 03, 2011

An interesting "biography" of the creation and development of America's first truly world-class architectural firm. The telling of the story is a bit muddled - back and forth in time, and complicated by a seemingly exhaustive description of the relationships among high Newport and New York society members who over the years commissioned and championed various residential, commercial, and civic MM&W projects (perhaps family trees, a la the the one in in "100 Years of Solitude," would have helped!). Mead remains a mystery, but the personal lives, loves, and "adventures" of McKim and White are well documented. The volume and continuing impact of their work is mind-boggling. Here in NYC, it seems like you can barely walk 10 blocks without encountering a MM&W-designed structure.

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