McKim-Mead-&-White

Happy Birthday Stanford White! (November 9, 1853 – June 25, 1906) 

American architect and partner in the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, the front runner among Beaux-Arts firms. He designed a long series of houses for the numerous public, institutional, and religious buildings. His design principles embodied the “American Renaissance”. In 1906, White was murdered by millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw over White’s affair with Thaw’s wife, actress Evelyn Nesbit, leading to a court case which was dubbed “The Trial of the Century” by contemporary reporters. (Wikipedia)

Corner view of Neoclassical one-story stone building, Peoples State Bank at the southeast corner of Fort and Shelby streets, designed by McKim, Mead and White and completed in 1900. Ionic columns at entrance; flat roof with balustrade; statues of two women and shield over entrance; rounded arched windows. Recorded in glass negative ledger: “D/Banks-Peoples State Bank." 

  • Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library

BKM has come along way since our first cornerstone was laid in 1895. Today we celebrate our own #musbuilding — Have any great photos you took of our building? Share your favorite and tag us on Instagram with #brooklynmuseum and it may show up on our feed!

Learn about the history of our building at http://bit.ly/1ukGF8y

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Charles McKim (American, 1847 – 1909) (McKim, Mead, & White)

William G. Low House, 3 Low Lane, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA

Built 1886; Demolished 1962

American Shingle Style: wood shingles; horizontal emphasis; multiple porches; minimal ornamentation. Under one broad, sweeping roof.

Trace paper drawings of the James A. Farley Post Office Building, which was designed by McKim, Mead, & White and built in 1912. The inscription on the facade reads, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." 

Farley Post Office, front elevations, drawings on trace. McKim Mead & White, PR 042. NYHS Image #s 82556d-82561d, 82572d.

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DEPARTURES: PENNSYLVANIA STATION

The new interstate freeway system and air travel sent the railroads into steep declines in the 1950s. Having already reduced services and staff, in 1960, the owners of Pennsylvania Station sold 75% of the air rights (the above-ground portion) of the two blocks on which the station sat, to developer Irving Felt, who, in 1961, announced plans to build a new sports and office building on the site. The railroad would continue to operate, using the tracks, tunnels, and platforms underground. The McKim Mead and White station, its granite exterior now covered with a heavy layer or grime and its grand waiting hall already closed off to save money, would be razed only 50 years after it was opened.

Despite the protests of architects, commuters, city activists and the press, after hearings were held, neither the city nor the state government blocked the plan and, in October of 1963, demolition began. Train service continued throughout the year-long dismantling of the huge station, forcing commuters to find their way through scaffolding, heavy dust, jackhammer noise and ever-lengthening detours to reach the platforms.

Although the destruction of the station was generally met with apathy at the time, the event galvanized the nascent preservationist movement, and contributed to the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.

The record of the Landmarks Commission is, however, decidedly mixed. The landmarking of Grand Central Terminal in 1966, and upheld by the Supreme Court in 1978, saved the building from the wrecking ball, but as recently as 2012, the Commission approved the demolition of the 1,700-room Hotel Pennsylvania, a McKim, Mead and White design completed in 1919, that faced the former Penn Station. Public outcry and bad press–not the Commission–led the developers to announce in 2013 their intention to renovate (but not restore) the hotel, instead of tearing it down.