McKim, Mead & White was an American architectural firm that thrived at the turn of the twentieth century. The firm's founding partners were Charles Follen McKim (1847–1909), William Rutherford Mead (1846–1928) and Stanford White (1853–1906). They hired many other architects, partners, associates, designers and draftsmen, who came to prominence during or after their time at the firm.
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, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin. Other examples are in Canada, Cuba and Italy.
McKim and Mead joined forces in 1872. They were joined in 1879 by White, who, like McKim, had worked for architect Henry Hobson Richardson. Their work applied the principles of Beaux-Arts architecture, the adoption of the classical Greek and Roman stylistic vocabulary as filtered through the Parisian École des Beaux-Arts, and the related City Beautiful movement after 1893 or so. Its vision was to clean up the visual confusion of American cities and imbue them with a sense of order and formality during America's Gilded Age.
According to one scholar, "Running through the world of McKim, Mead & White was a sense of the exploration of life's pleasures. A circle of bisexual and homosexual entertainment can be traced within the office. The circle included Stanford White, [Augustus] Saint Gaudens, Joseph M. Wells, Frank Millet, Whitney Warren, Thomas Hastings and probably [William R.] Mead, and many others."
The firm retained its name long after the deaths of founding partners White (1906), McKim (1909), and Mead (1928).
Smith died in 1961, and the firm was soon renamed Steinmann, Cain and White. In 1971, it became Walker O. Cain and Associates.
New York City
New England and New York State
|Florham Campus, Fairleigh Dickinson University||Madison and Florham Park, New Jersey||1897||originally "Florham," the estate of Hamilton Twombly and Florence Vanderbilt, one of many Vanderbilt houses|
|Orange Public Library||Orange, New Jersey||1901|
|St. Peter's Episcopal Church||Morristown, New Jersey||1889-1913||English-medieval style parish church.|
|Hurstmont||Morristown, New Jersey||1902-3||Private estate.|
|FitzRandolph Gate||Princeton, New Jersey||1905||The official entrance of Princeton University|
|University Cottage Club, Princeton University||Princeton, New Jersey||1906||One of the Eating clubs at Princeton University|
|Pennsylvania Station||Newark, New Jersey||1935||Art Deco style|
|White House, West Wing and East Wing||1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW||1903||Renovation|
|Roosevelt Hall, National War College||Fort Lesley J. McNair||1903–1907|
|National Museum of American History||1300 Constitution Avenue NW||1964|
|Patterson Mansion||15 Dupont Circle NW||1903|
|St. John's Church, Lafayette Square||1525 H Street NW||1919||Renovation|
|Pedestal, Jeanne d'Arc||Meridian Hill Park||1922||Measures about 10 feet long and 6 feet high|
Other U.S. locations
|Bank of Montreal Head Office||Montreal, Quebec, Canada||1901–1905||additions|
|Bank of Montreal Building||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||1913|
|American Academy in Rome Main Building||Rome, Italy||1914|
|Hotel Nacional de Cuba||Havana, Cuba||1930|
Notable architects of McKim, Mead & White
- Henry Bacon – worked at the firm from about 1886 through 1897; left with fellow employee James Brite to open their own office.
- William A. Boring – worked at the firm in 1890 before forming a separate partnership with Edward Lippincott Tilton.
- Charles Lewis Bowman – a draftsman at the firm until 1922, noted for his large number of private residences throughout Westchester County, New York including Bronxville, Pelham Manor, Mamaroneck and New Rochelle.
- A. Page Brown - worked with the firm beginning in the 1880s; went to California, where he was known for the San Francisco Ferry Building.
- Walker O. Cain – worked at the firm; he took it over in 1961 and renamed it several times.
- J.E.R. Carpenter – worked at the firm for several years before designing much of upper Fifth and Park Avenues, including 907 Fifth Avenue, 825 Fifth Avenue, 625 Park Avenue, 550 Park Avenue and the Lincoln Building on 42nd Street.
- John Merven Carrère (1858–1911) – worked with McKim, Mead & White from 1883 through 1885, then joined Thomas Hastings to form the firm Carrère and Hastings.
- Thomas Harlan Ellett (1880–1951).
- Cass Gilbert – worked with the firm until 1882, when he went to work with James Knox Taylor; later designed many notable structures, among them the George Washington Bridge and the Woolworth Building.
- Arthur Loomis Harmon – later of Shreve, Lamb and Harmon.
- Thomas Hastings (1860–1929) – of Carrère and Hastings, worked with McKim, Mead & White from 1883 through 1885.
- John Galen Howard (1864-1931)
- John Mead Howells (1868-1959)
- William Mitchell Kendall (1856 – 1941), worked with the firm from 1882 until his death.
- Harrie T. Lindeberg – started at the firm in 1895 as an assistant to Stanford White and remained with the firm until White's death in 1906.
- Austin W. Lord – worked with the firm in 1890-94 on designs for Brooklyn Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Metropolitan Club, and buildings at Columbia University
- Harold Van Buren Magonigle (1867-1935)
- Albert Randolph Ross
- Philip Sawyer (1868-1949)
- James Kellum Smith (1893–1961) – a member of the firm from 1924 to 1961; full partner in 1929, and the last surviving partner of MM&W. He primarily designed academic buildings, but his last major work was the National Museum of American History.
- Egerton Swartwout of Tracy and Swartwout – both Tracy and Swartwout worked together for the firm on multiple projects prior to starting their own practice.
- Edward Lippincott Tilton – helped design the Boston Public Library in 1890 before leaving with Boring.
- Robert von Ezdorf – took over much of the firm's business after White's death.
- Joseph M. Wells (1853–1890) – worked as firm's first Chief Draftsman from 1879–90; often considered to be the firm's "fourth partner", and largely responsible for its Renaissance Revival designs in 1880s.
- William M. Whidden – worked at the firm from at least 1882 until 1888; projects included the Tacoma and Portland hotels in Washington and Oregon, respectively; moved to Portland, Oregon, in 1888 to finish the hotel and established his own firm with Ion Lewis
- York and Sawyer – Edward York (1863–1928) and Philip Sawyer (1868–1949) worked together for the firm before starting their own partnership in 1898.
- Broderick, Mosette (2010), Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White: Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America's Gilded Age
- Broderick, Mosette "Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America's Gilded Age", Knopf, page vii"
- "[Mead's] widow receives all the estate of about $250,000"], New York Times (November 27, 1928); "Mrs. Olga Kilenyi Mead, widow,... bequeathed her entire estate to the trustees of Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts" in New York Times (April 23, 1936). The money was used to build the Mead Art Building, which was designed by James Kellum Smith of McKim, Mead and White.
- "Mission & History". National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
- Patricia McGraw Anderson (1988). The Architecture of Bowdoin College. Brunswick, Maine: Bowdoin College Museum of Art. http://library.bowdoin.edu/arch/images/lunagallery/libraryluna.shtml
- Goeschel, Nancy (February 10, 1987). "Former New York Life Insurance Building" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
- Blackwell, D. and The Naugatuck Historical Society 1996 "Images of Naugatuck". Arcadia Publishing
- Charles J. Osborn Residence
- Potter, Janet Greenstein (1996), Great American Railroad Stations
- Potter, Janet Greenstein (1996). Great American Railroad Stations. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 94, 154, 164. ISBN 978-0471143895.
- "Piermont Historical Society". piermonthistorysociety.org. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
- "Big Old Houses: I Love This House". New York Social Diary. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
- Art and Archaeology. Archaeological Institute of America. 1922.
- "McKelvy House" on the Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project website
- Bluffton University Digital Imagine Project
- Baker, Paul R. Stanny: The Gilded Life of Stanford White. New York: Free Press, 1989. ISBN 0-02-901781-5
- Broderick, Mosette. Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White: Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America's Gilded Age New York: Knopf, 2010. ISBN 0-394-53662-2
- McKim, Mead & White. A Monograph of the Work of McKim, Mead & White, 1879-1915. New York: Architectural Book Publishing Co., 1915-1920, 4 volumes. Reprinted as The Architecture of McKim, Mead & White in Photographs, Plans and Elevations, with an introduction by Richard Guy Wilson (New York: Dover Publications, 1990). ISBN 0486265560
- Roth, Leland M. The Architecture of McKim, Mead & White, 1870-1920: A Building List (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities). Garland Publishing (September 1, 1978). 978-0824098506
- Roth, Leland M. McKim, Mead and White, Architects. Harper & Row; First edition (October 1985). 978-0064301367
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to McKim, Mead & White.|
- McKim, Mead & White Selected Works 1879 to 1915, published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2018.
- McKim, Mead & White in Buffalo
- McKim, Mead & White Architectural Records Collection at the New-York Historical Society
- Brooklyn Museum Building Online Exhibition
- McKim, Mead & White architectural records and drawings, circa 1879-1958, held by the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University