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VOLUME I

CARRÈRE & HASTINGS ARCHITECTS

MARK ALAN HEWITT K AT E L E M O S WILLIA M MORRISON C H A R L E S D . WA R R E N

P R E F A C E B Y PA U L L e C L E R C

F OR E W OR D B Y A L L A N G R E E N B E R G

ACANTHUS PRESS N E W Y OR K : 2 0 0 6


ACANTHUS PRESS, LLC 48 WEST 22ND STREET NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10010 W W W. A C A N T H U S P R E S S . C O M

2 1 2 –4 1 4 –0 1 0 8

Copyright © 2006, Mark Alan Hewitt, Kate Lemos, William Morrison, and Charles D. Warren

Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify the owners of copyright. Errors of omission will be corrected in subsequent printings of this work. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in any part (except by reviewers for the public press) without written permission from the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Carrère & Hastings architects / contributors, Mark Alan Hewitt ... [et al.] ; preface by Paul LeClerc ; foreword by Allan Greenberg. -- 1st ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-926494-42-2 (alk. paper) 1. Carrère & Hastings. 2. Eclecticism in architecture--United States. 3. Architecture--United States--19th century. 4. Architecture--United States--20th century. I. Hewitt, Mark A. II. Title: Carrère and Hastings architects.

NA737.C27C37 2006 720'92'2--dc22 2006017112

FRONTISPIECE : VICTORY ARCH, FIFTH AVENUE AT

24TH STREET

BARRY CENOWER, PUBLISHER MAGGIE HINDERS AND POLLY FRANCHINI, DESIGNERS

PRINTED IN CHINA


A l l f o r m a n d a l l d e s i g n a r e t h e n at u r a l a n d l e g i t i m at e o u t c o m e of t h e n at u r e or p u r p o s e of t h e ob j e c t to b e m a d e . T h e p r a c t i c a l a n d t h e a rt i s t i c a r e i n s e pa r a b l e . T h e r e i s b e a u t y i n n at u r e b e c a u s e a l l n at u r e i s a p r ob l e m w e l l s olv e d . Thom a s Ha stings 1922


CONTENTS

V OL U M E O N E PREFACE 9

LIBRARIES

Paul LeClerc

INTRODUCTION 281 THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 285

FOREWORD 11

CARNEGIE BRANCH LIBRARIES 325

Allan Greenberg

OTHER LIBRARIES 341

INTRODUCTION 17 Mark Alan Hewitt and Charles D. Warren

CIT Y HOUSES INTRODUCTION 349 HOUSES 352

COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

PORTFOLIO 396

HOTELS 61 OFFICE BUILDINGS 89 BANKS 113 RETAIL STORES 125 THEATERS 133 PORTFOLIO 150

CIVIC WORKS INTRODUCTION 163 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS 171 CITY HALLS 185 TRANSPORTATION 201 BRIDGES 211 PARKS 223 MOMUMENTS AND MEMORIALS 235 CITY PLANNING 253 PORTFOLIO 270

NOTES 402


CONTENTS

VOLUME T WO COUNTRY HOUSES

APPENDICES

INTRODUCTION 11

PROJECT LIST 267

HOUSES 16

ROSTER OF ARCHITECTS 292

PORTFOLIO 162

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 296

CHUR CHES AND TOMBS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 307

CHURCHES 171

ILLUSTRATION CREDITS 309

TOMBS 203 PORTFOLIO 210

E XPOSITIONS EXPOSITIONS 215

ACADEMIC AND INSTITUTIONAL BUILDINGS INTRODUCTION 239 BUILDINGS 243 PORTFOLIO 258

NOTES 262

INDEX 311


PREFACE

N

I NOR MY COLLEAGUES AT THE New York Public Library, I would venture, could ever become immune to the grandeur, the nobility, the beauty, or the efficiency of our sublime workplace. No matter where we may be located, we serve the Library and its public in spaces where a unified aesthetic is embodied in the various furniture, fixtures, finishes, and materials that Carrère & Hastings designed and selected for this magnificent Beaux-Arts commission. Nothing is left to accident, nothing is improvised. On the contrary, all is ordered, coherent, rational, and, most importantly, beautiful and ennobling, both to us and to the public. EITHER

The overall message that I continually sense from the brilliant architects of our library is a simple one: that reading, the acquisition of knowledge, and staffing a great library are themselves such inherently noble activities that they deserve to take place in spaces that are grand and glorious. Just as the exquisite binding on a rare book signifies the importance of what lies between its covers, architecture and design in this instance tell us directly how central a great library is to the notion of civilization itself.

PA U L L E C L E R C PRESIDENT N E W Y O R K P U B L I C L I B R A RY

LEFT: MAIN READING ROOM DOORWAY, NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

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GATEFOLD: PONCE DE LEON HOTEL, COURTYARD ENTRANCE AND ARCADE


COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS


HOTELS

T

1884, fellow Ecole des Beaux-Arts graduates and McKim, Mead & White employees John M. Carrère and Thomas Hastings agreed to form an architectural partnership of their own and leased two small rooms in the offices of their former employers at 57 Broadway. By April of 1885, although there were hints of some residential work for a summer house in Oceanic, New Jersey, from one of Carrère’s Staten Island neighbors and a Hastings family friend, the two young partners had found little to sustain them beyond occasional drafting work farmed out to them by their staunch supporters Charles McKim and Stanford White. But, as John Carrère recalled some 23 years later in an address to the Architectural League of New York, the prospects of the fledgling firm of Carrère & Hastings were about to grow exponentially brighter: O WA R D T H E E N D O F T H E Y E A R

hour, I meanwhile holding the fort with our only employee. As Mr. Hastings had done some small things for Mr. Flagler, I supposed that he had been sent for in connection with these. Suddenly I heard a great commotion in the hall. It seemed to me as if every door was being slammed, and the first thing I knew Mr. Hastings had opened and slammed our door and was standing in the office and I saw the New York directory flying through the air at my head. I just managed to dodge that when I had to duck again to allow a T-square that was flying in my direction to pass without hitting me. Then I began to pick up things from my desk and throw them at my partner, until above the din and the confusion I heard Mr. Hastings shout, “We are going to Florida! We’ve got a million dollar hotel to build there!” Then we simply proceeded to smash everything we could lay hands on, our office boy ably assisting us.

I remember how I felt when Mr. Hastings and myself secured our first job, which was a hotel.

Of course, we didn’t know anything about hotels.1

One afternoon about twenty-three years ago we and our sole assistant, an office boy, were sitting in our office waiting for something to turn up, when Mr. Hastings received a note from Mr. Henry M. Flagler asking him to go around to Mr. Flagler’s office. Mr. Hastings was gone about an

On that momentous April afternoon in 1885, Carrère & Hastings received the commission to design what would in time be recognized in both America and Europe as a landmark achievement in architecture, and, simultaneously, they won the

LEFT: PONCE DE LEON, ROTUNDA

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ALCAZAR, REAR VIEW FROM TENNIS COURTS

same coquina aggregate as the Ponce de Leon but displayed little of the elaborate ornamentation of the earlier hotel, its severe, concrete exterior rendered more so by Flagler’s decision to eliminate the baroque, semicircular arcade forecourt that appears so prominently in the drawings for the project.17 Only in the upper reaches of the twin towers on the entrance front and in the Moorish-flavored rooftop finials did Hastings’ penchant for the decorative finally break forth. The result is a design that appears curiously modern to contemporary eyes, somewhat of a 19th-century heralding of late-20th-century functionalism. Occupying a plot of land slightly more than a third the size of that of the Ponce de Leon, the Alcazar consisted of three adjacent blocks on a common central axis, connected by a pair of long

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arcade passageways. Entered via an open archway from a landscaped plaza, the northern block surrounded a formal courtyard with a groundlevel arcade of shops beneath three floors of hotel guestrooms. At the courtyard’s southern end, the arcades passed through the building and proceeded to either side of twin fountain patios and a monolithic, T-shaped block with narrow, slit-like window openings. Within this structure was a veritable maze of skylit gymnasiums; massage rooms; steam, sauna, and sulfur baths; and men’s and women’s changing rooms. The arcaded passageways then proceeded into an enclosed four-story court of coquina concrete with surrounding balconies and an overhead skylight above an indoor saltwater pool measuring 156 by 56 feet. 18 In its open round arches, Doric


ALCAZAR, VIEWED FROM FROM THE PONCE DE LEON ENTRANCE

ALCAZAR COURTYARD

HOTELS

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UNITED STATES RUBBER BUILDING, VIEWED FROM COLUMBUS CIRCLE

OFFICE BUILDINGS

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U N I T E D S TAT E S R U B B E R B U I L D I N G , D E TA I L

UNITED STATES RUBBER BUILDING, PLANS

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Avenue, the English bond-brick Liggett Building rises 22 stories above two floors of retail space faced with glass and ornamental ironwork, and a third floor of banded limestone. A partial setback at the 16th floor, and a full one, two floors higher, imparts a fine geometric character to the building’s mass, accented by the limestone cornices at the setbacks and paired dwarf obelisk finials at the corners of the 18th-floor terrace. Terra-cotta spandrels between floors in the central block above and below the setbacks add further variety to a simple but pleasingly effective exterior. The zoning envelope actually allowed for a 25story structure on the site, but reportedly the architects terminated the building at 22 stories plus a rooftop penthouse because additional floors would harm the overall design.22 A midblock 12-story wing extended the building through to 43rd Street, and shallow courts on the north and east sides of


STANDARD OIL BUILDING

OFFICE BUILDINGS

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NEW THEATRE AUDITORIUM, AS ORIGINALLY FINISHED

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NEW THEATRE, STAIRWELL

tainment venues 20 blocks to the south and convey the different nature of the new enterprise. On March 30, 1906, the founders announced a closed competition between nine invited architectural firms, with designs to be submitted by the 21st of the following month.11 At pains to achieve ambitions for a building “in which the artistic treatment is of paramount importance,” the published prospectus for the building explained that what was desired was not a theater “in the usual American interpretation of the word; that is, a mere show house where the entire building is given over to the auditorium and the stage. It is intended to conform

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more nearly to the Continental type of theater in which the auditorium and stage occupy only a moderate portion of the plan, and provision is made for a foyer, grand staircases, ample retiring and cloak rooms, smoking rooms, entrances, circulations and elevators, restaurant, confectioner, florist, and similar accommodation for the public.”12 The document went on to detail further requirements for multiple rehearsal rooms; sceneconstruction shops; wardrobe, wig, property, and electrical-equipment rooms; a suite of offices for the director; a founders’ club room; an actors’ green room; a library devoted to dramatic works;


NEW THEATRE, MUSIC ROOM

T H E AT E R S

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AERIAL VIEW OF ARLINGTON MEMORIAL AMPHITHEATER AND MAINE MAST

choice, and the design of the capitals in particular, was far more successful for the pilasters than the columns, where the blocky abacus overshadowed the ornamented echinus. Details such as these distinguished the arch from the long line of its predecessors, and the decision to have an attic story over only the central section gave the design a pyramidal profile quite different from imperial Roman models. Hastings may have imagined that a permanent arch would be built on the model of the temporary one, which had been hastily designed and constructed to be ready for the great homecoming parade. There was some talk of making the arch permanent, but the inconvenience of the location was hard to overcome, and other options for a suitable memorial were contemplated. When the ambitious Central Park memorial was finally defeated, a design for the Eternal-Light Flagpole

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became its rather modest replacement. The carved granite base of this memorial carries the names of important battles and supports a bronze standard and a flagstaff surmounted by an eternally lighted star. It terminates West 24th Street just south of where the arch was located.

A R L I N G TO N M E M OR I A L A M P H I T H E AT E R Arlington, Virginia 1913-20

Arlington National Cemetery was a creation of the Civil War, a place for the nation to bind up its wounds and remember, year after year, the great calamity of internecine strife. As the Grand Army of the Republic slowly faded away, the gentle Potomac hillsides of the Lee plantation were sown


ARLINGTON MEMORIAL AMPHITHEATER, WEST PORTICO

ARLINGTON MEMORIAL AMPHITHEATER, COLONNADE

MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS

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GATEFOLD: NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, MAIN READING ROOM


LIBRARIES


“PATIENCE”—THE SOUTHERN OF THE TWO LIONS AT THE FRONT ENTRANCE

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NE W YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

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N E W Y O R K P U B L I C L I B R A RY commission, which Carrère & Hastings won in a two-part competition in 1897, was an undeniable turning point for the firm. The build up to the library competition was as long and complex as it was public, and receiving the much-soughtafter commission afforded them vast acclaim. Their design entry was the clear winner, deemed by the jury as “distinctly the best of the designs submitted and of very exceptional merit in every respect.”1 Already established as successful and talented enough to be included in the second, highly selective invitational competition for the library, Carrère & Hastings designed a building considered one of the most significant Beaux-Arts monuments in the city and one of the nation’s most beautiful public buildings. The library officially opened on May 24, 1911, more than a decade after Carrère & Hastings designed it, and it has held a commanding presence at the bustling corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue as the neighborhood grew up around it. The lasting significance of this public institution is due to the forward-thinking planning and political dexterity of its founders, and to the careful stewardship of its first director, Dr. John Shaw Billings, whose death in 1913 ended a term in office as much involved with the design and construction of the library as with masterminding the functional efficiency with which it runs to this day. HE

Above all, great honor must be given to Carrère & Hastings for their forceful design. The building manifests all three of Vitruvius’ required qualities: utility, firmness, and delight. On its exterior, Carrère & Hastings clearly expressed not only the library’s monumentality with facades enriched with classical ornament, but also its inner function. Organizing devices ranging from the most detailed ornament to the building’s overall massing serve to link its differentiated facades and establish a hierarchy of exterior elements. On the interior Carrère & Hastings combined sumptuous spaces with fluid circulation and infused the classically proportioned plan with utility and grace. In a remarkable combination of magnificence and functionality, the New York Public Library exemplifies their Beaux-Arts training and reveals their modern vision. The various issues involved in the library planning, competition, and construction encapsulate New York City’s personality, and its social, cultural, political, architectural, and geographic conditions at the turn of the 20th century; the building’s careful study illuminates this cultural moment like no other project of its era. Choosing a location for the new library reflected the city’s complex political environment, as well as its patterns of growth, and establishing the appropriate appearance for the building showed the balance the founders wanted to strike

285


CROTON RESERVOIR, VIEW FROM THE NORTHEAST, 1900

between its dual roles as a free and accessible public institution and the epicenter of the city’s intellectual life. The library’s eventual site on the land occupied by the Croton Reservoir at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street was, by the end of the 19th century, located in a neighborhood consisting mostly of residential buildings but witnessing changes as commercial enterprises moved northward, from south of 14th Street up Fifth Avenue and Broadway and their tributary streets. The newly consolidated City of New York was experiencing breathtaking urban changes and new construction of all types of buildings and forms of infrastructure; the reservoir site made sense in terms of establishing the library’s physical and cultural position within the city as it changed. It would be an anchor to the bustling neighborhood, easily accessible from all parts of the city through its proximity to existing

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lines of transit and the planned electric subway, which would open in 1904. Grand Central Depot was located on 42nd Street and Park Avenue. It would be replaced in 1913 by Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem’s Grand Central Terminal, not long after the completion of McKim, Mead & White’s Pennsylvania Station at 34th Street, all solidifying this part of the city as its transportation center. But securing the reservoir site was a protracted battle between the elite private libraries of the city and its Tammany Hall–entrenched public officials. McKim, Mead & White’s 1885 design of the Boston Public Library ignited a great public debate in New York City regarding its lack of a similar public institution. A nationwide trend of public-library construction was gaining momentum. The trend grew concurrently with the City Beautiful movement, which embraced formal


CARRERE & HASTINGS COMPETITION ENTRY, FIFTH AVENUE ELEVATION

M C KIM, MEAD & WHITE COMPETITION ENTRY, FIFTH AVENUE ELEVATION

HOWARD & CAULDWELL COMPETITION ENTRY, FIFTH AVENUE ELEVATION

N E W Y O R K P U B L I C L I B R A RY

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CONSTRUCTION PHOTO, AT CORNICE

would give the City of New York an entirely satisfactory and practical working Library and at the same time a beautiful and monumental building. It is distinctly the best of the designs submitted and of very exceptional merit in every respect. In its interior arrangement this design follows closely the plan outlined by the Committee in the Terms of Competition.”22 The jury also noted that McKim, Mead & White’s plan differed in “material respects” from the arrangements suggested in the competition guidelines, and that although they felt the design was interesting and exhibited “power and capacity in a high degree,” they determined that in a num-

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ber of respects, including giving enough weight to the “working necessities of the library,” it was not entirely satisfactory. Nonetheless, the jury justified its placement in the top three because of the high degree of architectural ability evidenced in the “impressive style of the exterior.”23 On December 1, 1897, New York City’s Board of Estimate and Appropriations approved Carrère & Hastings’ plans, resolved to enter an agreement with the New York Public Library for the use of the building to be erected by the Parks Department on the reservoir site, and approved a construction cost not to exceed $2,500,000.24 A potentially disastrous reminder that the future of


PLASTER MOCK-UPS OF ORNAMENTS

New York City mayor William Jay Gaynor addressed the crowd. Thomas Hastings gave the mayor and John Bigelow, president of the board of trustees, a large golden key to the library. The building opened to the public the following day, during which thousands of visitors finally had their chance to see the interior of the great public monument. The joyous celebrations were dampened, however, by the fact that John Carrère, who had been killed in a car accident two months earlier, could not witness the fulfillment of his labor of love. In a gesture of appreciation for his contributions to the city, Park Commissioner Stover had allowed the library to open to the public for one day on March 6, so that the city’s “feelings of admiration and gratitude towards the departed architect of the great Public Library may find fit-

ting expression on the occasion of his funeral,” during which his body was laid in state inside the library’s Astor Hall.33 The library designs underwent many changes from competition to completion. Some of these were requested by the trustees—such as allowing more light into the stacks, increasing window sizes as much as possible in the reading and administrative rooms, and adding sculptures at either side of the terrace in place of the tall columns at its northeast and southeast corners. Other changes were made by the architects. Significant ones included changing the order used in the entry portico and facades from Ionic to Corinthian, doubling the columns supporting the entablature of the portico and replacing the outer paired columns with blank stone piers, amplifying the expression of the order

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PROPOSED REDESIGN OF FIFTH AVENUE PORTICO BY THOMAS HASTINGS

pavilions feature a center window element similar to those in the flanking sections, framed by Corinthian columns and crowned by pediments containing sculpture designed by George Gray Barnard, representing The Arts and History. The pavilions reflect the pedimented roof rising above the portico and are pulled in visually toward the center of the building by their slight asymmetry. The stone piers on either side of the monumental arch motif at the entrance are repeated on a smaller scale in the corner pavilions, as are the flanking sections of rusticated quoins. The pull of the center portico is strong; the colonnades provide visual links and perpetuate the rhythm of the

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facade, and the corner pavilions succeed as flanking termini. The Bryant Park elevation was criticized in Architectural Record as being too plainly treated, lacking monumentality and “any architectural pretense,” and failing to give the “superbly dimensioned reading room . . . [,] one of the largest apartments in any edifice in the United States,” adequate outward expression.45 Quite the opposite is true; the Bryant Park elevation presents the most honest exterior expression of the interior library functions, with the stacks articulated by a long expanse of monumental vertical windows separated by marble piers, above which the large


FIFTH AVENUE PORTICO, VIEW FROM SOUTHEAST

arched windows of the reading room create a separate expression, amply illustrating that a principal, prominent function exists within. A decorative frieze with carved swags separates the stack windows from the reading-room windows, between which appear small doorways with arched pediments. These mysterious “doorways to nowhere� have interior expressions in the form of paneled wood doors and were integrated into the original design in anticipation of future expansion of the stacks westward into Bryant Park. This work was never carried out above ground; in 1991 a major stack expansion was completed below ground, adding 37 miles of

stacks to the existing 88 miles within the building. The dainty doorways help emphasize, through comparison, the grand size of the reading-room windows. The main block of the stacks and third-floor reading room is surmounted by a projecting cornice and a shallow hipped roof not readily visible from the ground, and flanked on either side by pavilions identical to those on the Fifth Avenue facade. To view the building from the southwest or northwest, the pavilions are read as the front and rear faces of lower flanking elements running alongside the taller interior portions of the building, connected by a cornice spanning the elevations along 40th and

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BRYANT PARK ELEVATION DRAWING

Doric columns.47 The monument is situated on a formally designed platform spanning the entire width of the building; like the Fifth Avenue terrace, it is a recognizable Beaux-Arts feature carried to beautiful and crowd-pleasing effect by Carrère & Hastings. The most familiar and universally loved sculpted figures on the library’s Fifth Avenue terrace are of course the famous lions by Edward Clark Potter. Potter received the commission on the recommendation of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of America’s foremost sculptors, and Piccirilli Brothers carved the lions from pink Tennessee marble.48 Known variously as Leo Astor and Leo Lenox; as Lady Astor and Lord Lenox (although they are both male); and, most familiarly, as Patience and Fortitude, so named in the 1930s by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia for qualities New Yorkers needed to withstand the Depression,49 the noble lions lie in peaceful, ever-watchful repose. Although ridiculed initially as too complacent, the lions have become the public symbol of the library and all of its branches. They seem to have a sense of their celebrity, looking through half-shut eyes over Fifth Avenue with an air of aloofness. They are apparently oblivious to the swarms of pigeons

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flitting about and frequently landing on their luxuriantly maned heads, and they charitably tolerate being mounted by children and the annual indignity of their obligatory holiday attire. The theme of lions is carried throughout the building, most notably in the lion masks above the first-floor windows and in many of the chandeliers designed by the architects. Although the architects saw their desires for lavish materials and refined workmanship carried through to fruition, they were less successful in creating a spacious setting for the library. Hastings had grand plans for the library’s siting in relationship to Bryant Park, but his ideas to situate the building closer to Sixth Avenue and move the park to its front were not approved. He then proposed to create a plaza in front of the library by sinking 42nd Street beneath Fifth Avenue at the intersection. Local merchants defeated this plan, and instead 42nd Street was widened, causing stoops to be removed along the sidewalk.50 These drawbacks may have dismayed Hastings, but the public has never seemed to mind, nor to miss a chance to congregate on the stepped terrace along Fifth Avenue or behind the library overlooking Bryant Park.


BRYANT PARK MONUMENT

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DRAWING OF THE LIBRARY STACKS

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CIRCULATING LIBRARY

The New York Public Library was an epic undertaking; with this design, Carrère & Hastings reached the apex of Beaux-Arts classicism, and by the time construction reached completion, the style’s grip on American architecture was beginning to loosen. Incredibly, given the amount of attention they paid to the library, the architects had countless other significant projects in the office during its long design and construction process, a demonstration of their versatility. Despite administrative and political wrangling, construction delays, and the death of John M. Carrère before the open-

ing ceremonies, the architects carried their original vision for the library through to its completion, and after almost 100 years their building maintains its original integrity. Born of desire for a grand public library suitable for the city, the New York Public Library remains today, as it was when it opened, a significant part of New York’s architectural and cultural landscape and one of its most important buildings. K. L.

N E W Y O R K P U B L I C L I B R A RY

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ELIHU ROOT HOUSE, PARK AVENUE FACADE

mathematics at Hamilton, and Root had been a fraternity brother of Rev. Thomas Hastings. As Clinton, New York, neighbors, the Root and Hastings families would have been well known to each other. Root’s brilliantly successful term as secretary of war under McKinley and Roosevelt resulted in his appointment as Roosevelt’s secretary of state in 1905. In the year between his terms of duty in Washington, he decided to build a suitable urban residence on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. In choosing a Park Avenue site, he blazed a trail west

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from the park, a move that led to the construction of several elegant row-house ensembles following World War I. He likely participated in choosing the refined Georgian style, popularized by McKim in his 1892 James J. Goodwin house. The style was hitherto not favored by Hastings. But “Mr. Good Plan” once again proved capable of handling the nuances of a new style and gave the city one of its finest modern town houses. Exploiting the corner site to orient the house toward Park Avenue, Hastings created a plan that was widely admired and emulated as a model of


EIHU ROOT HOUSE GROUND-FLOOR PLAN

EIHU ROOT HOUSE, SECOND-FLOOR PLAN

EIHU ROOT HOUSE, THIRD-FLOOR PLAN

tects of the country and their distinguished

taste which American gentlemen of a century

guests were assembled in Washington. He

ago expressed in the rearing of their homes.21

selected “The Simple Life” as the subject of an address in which he gave unstinted praise to the Jeffersonian simplicity that molded the White

The Elihu Root house was demolished in the 1930s.

House, Mt. Vernon, Monticello, and the early mansions of Charleston, Annapolis and other centers of Colonial times. In the restrained and dignified design of his own house he has again emphasized an appreciation of the consummate

CITY HOUSES

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HENRY CLAY FRICK HOUSE, VIEW FROM CENTRAL PARK

H E N R Y C L AY F R I C K H O U S E 1912-14

There is little question that Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) understood that his place in history would be cast in relationship to his rivals among the tycoons of American industry and commerce at the turn of the century. His magnificent house and art collection have stood on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 70th Street for almost 100 years to remind the world that Frick was a prince of American business. Neither his former partner, Andrew Carnegie, nor other wealthy capitalists were able to create monuments of such lasting

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significance and beauty. From its inception, the combination gallery and house that Thomas Hastings designed for Frick was intended to be the finest in the world, and in its materials and execution, no expense was spared. Both patron and designer deserve credit for its ultimate success. Spurred by Carnegie’s mansion project up Fifth Avenue, in 1906 Frick acquired the site of the Lenox Library for $2,250,000 but had no specific plans for how to build on it. In 1907 he bought another 50 feet of property that extended the entire block between 70th and 71st streets. Frick had one of the most prominent parcels on the avenue, owing to its elevation being higher


HENRY CLAY FRICK HOUSE, WEST GALLERY FACADE

first I though him governed solely by instinct, his feeling for the beauties of his art was so spontaneous; but soon I discovered that every detail of his conception had a scientific basis & that the placing of even a window-ledge must conform to the laws of light and shade.”28 This assessment of Hastings’ pragmatic character, as well as his intention to design a house that balanced the practical with the beautiful, perfectly summarizes the Frick commission. Hastings’ patron consistently asked for economy and restraint, without compromising the elegance required of a treasure house for art, and his architect found a way to achieve these goals. Despite a reported $3 million building budget, compromises were required to keep costs from spinning out of control, and the architects responded to every challenge with grace and professionalism.29 For their initial contract the firm was paid $101,000, according to records now in the Frick Collection, with an additional $42,000 for work completed before 1915 on landscape, interiors, cabinetry, and

other services.30 The architects kept a close watch on the construction process, including shooting progress photographs each week; these are also in the records. The foundations, steel structure, stone shell, and roof were completely erected between April 2 and June 30, 1913, an accomplishment that would be difficult to replicate with current technology. As he had done with previous commissions, Hastings looked carefully at historical prototypes before commencing his design. His knowledge of French hôtel plans once again proved useful, as he was able to employ the familiar device of balancing a “court of honor” with a formal terrace garden to give the central wing both a park and an interior view.31 Such a plan type can be seen in the Hôtel de Bretonvilliers (c. 1635) in Paris, by Jean du Cerceau and Louis Le Vau. Choosing to ignore the precedents established by other Fifth Avenue mansions, he placed the entrance on 70th Street, framed by an arched gateway leading to a porte cochere. Following a similar plan to that of the

CITY HOUSES

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C. LEDYARD BLAIR WITH THE ARCHITECTS AND BUILDERS IN FRONT OF BLAIRSDEN

It was the full realization of classical potential in the modern country house and garden that distinguished Carrère & Hastings from their peers. In this volume, through the first fully chronological exposition of their country houses, it is possible to appreciate the subtle and often unexpected ways in which the architects manipulated forms and principles from the classical tradition. Although many firms of the Progressive Era followed and enhanced the tradition of American classicism—McKim, Mead & White, Cass Gilbert, Horace Trumbauer, and Charles Platt among them—Carrère & Hastings’ contribution to this tradition is particularly profound. In adapting European paradigms to conditions on this side of the Atlantic, they extended the principles of classical design in a manner that was uniquely American.

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In response to the need for modern country houses, Carrère & Hastings conceived the idea of a new American villa that continued the Renaissance tradition of classical building and landscape design. Prior to the emergence of Italian garden influences in the work of Charles Platt, they designed several country houses with sophisticated, Italian-inspired site plans attached to eclectic classical house designs. At Indian Harbor, Bellefontaine, Blairsden, and Knole, the architects demonstrated that a close integration of house and gardens in the American context could be as successful as in any European example. Not only did each of Carrère & Hastings’ designs successfully introduce a new domestic paradigm into the American canon, each proved that the house and site could be successfully unified


INDIAN HARBOR, MAIN GATE

other building types, they ranged somewhat freely in choosing prototypes for the house. The ironspot Roman brick and rough-cut stonework provide a warm and rustic tone to the exterior, but the mixture of classical details with picturesque flourishes does not come together in a unified ensemble of forms or textures. If these were intended to complement elements of the gardens, no evidence exists of Eliot’s final ideas, as he died before seeing his work completed. The Pitcairns were pleased with the results, and Hastings maintained a warm relationship with them in later years, praising their continuing work on the landscape and farm buildings. The building is now open as an historic house and is well interpreted by the New Church in Bryn Athyn.

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INDIAN HARBOR For Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Benedict Greenwich, Connecticut 1895-1896

Thomas Hastings designed the seaside villa Indian Harbor for his future father-in-law, E. C. Benedict. Although Hastings and Helen Benedict did not wed until 1900, Hastings’ older brother Frank, who was Mr. Benedict’s private secretary and closest advisor, was also to have a residence on the Benedict property. Frank Hastings’ wife Caroline was the Benedicts’ niece. Benedict also was related by marriage to Henry Morrison Flagler, whose daughter Jennie was married to Benedict’s son Frederick. Benedict must have been aware of Carrère & Hastings’ abilities since the firm’s early work in St. Augustine, Florida. Their 1889 Flagler


INDIAN HARBOR, VIEW FROM LONG ISLAND SOUND

Presbyterian Church in that city was erected as a memorial to Benedict’s daughter-in-law, who perished from consumption that same year aboard his yacht, the Oneida. Three years later, Carrère & Hastings had undertaken alterations to Benedict’s New York City residence. Such close and entangled business and family connections loom large here because Hastings’ designs for Indian Harbor, Benedict’s seaside Greenwich, Connecticut, estate, displayed a level of artistic freedom and invention the architect had rarely known since his early works for Flagler. Fashioned from a grand plan extending both to buildings and grounds, Indian Harbor represented a real breakthrough for the firm in the area

of country house typology and presaged a group of superb large houses and gardens that became their masterworks in this genre. The property at Indian Harbor was notable prior to Benedict’s ownership for its association with the Americus Club, a social organization established by New York political boss William M. Tweed in the 1860s. “It was the habit of the club to make an excursion up the sound to South Norwalk on the Fourth of July. On one of these excursions the club stopped at Indian Harbor, and the members were so enchanted by the beauty of the spot that they leased the grounds from Augustus Mead, the owner, and erected a building there for the accommodation of the members during the

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ÍNDIAN HARBOR, ENTRANCE

INDIAN HARBOR, ENTRANCE LOGGIA AND STAIR

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INDIAN HARBOR, ENTRANCE AND FORECOURT

Summer,” reported The New York Times. In 1870 a lavish hotel was built on the site, and Tweed entertained his Tammany Hall cronies there for many years.15 After Tweed’s fall, the club folded and the hotel was run privately. In 1895, Benedict acquired the property, including the hotel and “Tweed Island,” for $100,000. His initial plan was to demolish the

existing buildings and construct three residences at the point—for himself, his son Frederick, and his personal secretary, Frank Hastings. The scheme expanded to include a new yacht club and additional buildings. The choice site at the end of the point was given to Benedict’s mansion and stable. Following a speedy design process, construction was under way in 1896 and proceeded for

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INDIAN HARBOR, DRAWING ROOM

INDIAN HARBOR, DINING ROOM

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INDIAN HARBOR, SITE PLAN

dining room, and to the right a second hall leads to the drawing room and an open semicircular porch attached to the end of the south wing. Using the orders as an organizational motif, the architects brought the Ionic pilasters of the main hall through the house to the exterior porches, emphasizing the key interior–exterior relationships. The largest and most elaborately decorated

room in the house was the drawing room, oriented to allow light and ventilation from either east or west through large arched French windows.16 Doric and Ionic colonnades extended throughout the site in the form of pergolas, porches, and garden structures, giving the grounds a distinctly European air. The architects’ exposure to Italian and French gardens during

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BLAIRSDEN, ALLÉE AND RAVINE LAKE

furniture and artwork for decorative effect rather than investment, often employing reproduction pieces. The living room was moved from the family’s New York brownstone and furnished with family heirlooms. Both the library and music room

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were paneled and furnished with suitable English and French pieces. The most unusual space on the first floor was the billiard room, its walls lined in stamped leather from Europe. The bedrooms were comfortable but hardly grand, and the bathrooms


BLAIRSDEN, FIRST-FLOOR PLAN

BLAIRSDEN, SECOND-FLOOR PLAN

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VERNON COURT, OBLIQUE VIEW FROM SIDE GARDEN

VERNON COURT, ENTRANCE DRIVE AND FORECOURT

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VERNON COURT, FOUNTAIN AND GARDEN FACADE

VERNON COURT, SIDE GARDEN AND LOGGIA

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CHUR CHES AND TOMBS

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HE COLLECTION OF CHURCHES DESIGNED

by Carrère & Hastings, ranging from their work in St. Augustine, Florida, to New York City, presents a range of stylistic influences and solutions to the requirements of the religious structure. In their approach to church design, the architects exercised a vast knowledge of architectural history and stylistic symbolism, and for each project they mined the most appropriate precedent and its architectural and ecclesiastical tradition. Their ecclesiastical designs have influences ranging from the spare Early Christian to the more sculptural Baroque, with precedents in the Italian Renaissance and the English churches of Wren and Gibbs. It is interesting to look at their church designs alongside their work in other building types. Religious architecture, by nature of its significance, age-old traditions, and various meanings around the world, is prone to more wide-ranging symbolism than other kinds. It is therefore not surprising that in their ecclesiastical work we see Carrère & Hastings practice such a high degree of stylistic variety. The architects’ turn toward eclectic stylistic influences for ecclesiastical buildings, although in contrast to their work applying the language and principles of Beaux-Arts classicism to create an

expression appropriate to a building’s function, nevertheless relies upon and reflects their classical training. Their Beaux-Arts classical projects, such as the New York Public Library and Frick mansion in New York City, and the House and Senate office buildings in Washington, D.C., eschewed heavy and overwrought ornamentation in favor of lively, delicate ornament, often displaying a distinctly graphic quality. Moreover, clearly organized interior spaces and sculpted volumes defined much of their secular work. These elements are clearly found in Carrère & Hastings’ sacred buildings, even though they show eclectic influences not seen in other realms of their work.

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHUR CH Rumson, New Jersey 1886

Carrère & Hastings’ first church was built in Rumson, New Jersey, in 1886, as a favor to Hastings’ father. The congregation, for which the senior Thomas Hastings served as summer pastor, was established in 1842 when the industrious Thomas Hunt of Brooklyn bought a small tract of land near the mouth of the Shrewsbury River in what was called Rumson Neck. He constructed there the

LEFT: WHITING MEMORIAL CHAPEL OF ST. AMBROSE

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CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DEVINE, CROSS SECTION

church. Double cruciform bronze chandeliers of interlacing floral design hang from the high vaulted ceilings, and bronze Venetian torchieres embellish the walls of the aisles.7 A circular family mausoleum extends from the west side of the church; Flagler himself, his first wife Mary, his daughter Jennie Louise, and his granddaughter Marjorie Flagler Benedict, are buried there. The full length of the southern apse is interrupted by a mezzanine gallery with an Ionic arcade, supported on larger Ionic columns at the ground-floor level. The gallery originally accommodated the congregation’s black members; today an organ is located there. Beyond the

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gallery screen wall can be glimpsed a small chapel. The pulpit is turned 90 degrees and faces the southern transept. Above the rostrum is a beautifully carved wooden screen of the choir loft. Behind the choir is the original Roosevelt pipe organ. The church has three organs, all of which can be played simultaneously from a console in the choir loft.8 The many beautiful stained-glass windows were planned by the church’s first leader, Reverend John MacGonigle, based on the Apostle’s Creed. They were designed by T. Schladermundt of New York, in consultation with Carrère & Hastings.9 The east transept features a rose window with two shorter,


CATHEDRAL ST. JOHN THE DIVINE, COMPETITION PLAN

broader stained-glass windows, which were not designed in the same scheme. The windows are awkward in their departure from the established window height throughout the church, although this change was necessary to accommodate the rose window above. The church was dedicated on March 16, 1890, nine days ahead of Flagler’s deadline.10 The dedication ceremony was attended by hundreds of people, including the local congregation and distinguished guests such as the First Lady, Mrs. Benjamin Harrison, and Vice President and Mrs. Levi P. Morton.11

C AT H E D R A L O F S T. J O H N THE DIVINE Competition Drawings 1889

As Carrère & Hastings were completing their St. Augustine commissions, the architectural scene in New York witnessed significant developments. McKim, Mead & White, with whom the architects had gotten their professional start, were at the forefront of a growing acceptance for classical architecture based on examples from the Italian Renaissance. Their 1884 Henry Villard Houses brought the Florentine palazzo to Madison

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PAN-AMERICAN EXPOSITION, TRIUMPHAL BRIDGE

McKim, Mead & White, the Baker Pavilion nonetheless demonstrated the individuality and ornamental abundance with which Carrère & Hastings could endow even the least and most transient of their creations.4 W. M.

PA N - A M E R I C A N E X P O S I T I O N Buffalo, New York 1901

The Pan-American Exposition, held in Buffalo in 1901, was a vast stage where the imperial ambitions of the United States played out against the

backdrop of its cultural insecurities. The fair’s veneer of Spanish-style architecture evoked the hemispheric theme, but the underlying spatial structure of 350-acre temporary city owed a deep debt to Paris, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and the Exposition Universelle of 1900. The combination of these foreign elements and techniques revealed the eclectic, pragmatic, and modern strains of modern culture; the architects of the fair thought in Spanish and dreamed in French, but what the built was profoundly American. John Merven Carrère was the ideal choice to lead the board of architects who designed the buildings and grounds of the Buffalo fair. Through his deep family roots in colonial America, his birth and

EXPOSITIONS

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LOUISIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION, PALACE OF MANUFACTURING, ARCADE INTERIOR

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PANAMA-PACIFIC EXPOSITION, TOWER OF JEWELS

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EXTERIOR OF BICENTENNIAL BUILDING, YALE UNIVERSITY

unfortunately, Yale’s October 25 deadline fell in the midst of two other competitions, one of which was for the rich prize of the New York Customs House. Pressed for time to complete so much work, Carrère wrote informally to Farnham, asking for an extension of the Yale deadline. He hoped Farnham would get the other competitors to agree, but the university had its own deadlines, and Carrère’s request was denied, leaving the draftsmen in his office scrambling to complete work on three major projects in quick succession.6 Carrère had written an important article in 1893 outlining the requirements for the conduct of fair architectural competitions, and he

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must have considered this communication to fall within the bounds of propriety.7 George B. Post advised the university on the conduct of the competition and reviewed the competitors’ drawings. He had worked closely with Carrère on AIA matters in New York and Washington, D.C., and he was more sympathetic to classical designs than to the gothic-style schemes submitted by competitors such as Charles C. Haight. He told Farnham that the Carrère & Hastings scheme had “a marked superiority in its disposition” and was “very monumental and eminently suited for memorial structures.”8 The Carrère & Hastings entry won this


WOOLSEY HALL INTERIOR, YALE UNIVERSITY

were removable, so that the room could serve a variety of purposes, but the balconies on the sides and the organ that was shoehorned into the southern end reinforced its principal function. The thickly modeled plaster of its elaborate ceiling bore some resemblance to their First Church of Christ, Scientist, in New York. Woolsey was the last part of the project completed, and it was inaugurated with a series of organ recitals in which the wonderful acoustics of the hall could be immediately appreciated. The other wing of the L-shaped structure was the grand University Commons. Wood paneling on the lower walls of this vast room provides a

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bit of warmth and scale to the carefully modeled brick walls, which form piers between tall windows. The piers support exposed polychrome wooden trusses of impressive girth, which span the nave-like space. The architecture combines the rigorous tectonics of neoclassicism with an oddly medieval air. That duality is reinforced by the eclectic decorative program, which includes iron chandeliers, densely modeled plaques, and carved wooden telemones—an odd, rather muscular acknowledgment of contemporary Continental fashion. A service aisle along the entire north side provided a connection between the commons and the state-of-the-art basement


DINING HALL, YALE UNIVERSITY

kitchen. These carefully designed facilities made it possible to serve three meals a day to Yale’s young gentlemen. Carrère & Hastings devised Memorial Hall, a round vestibule and connector, to sit between Woolsey and the Commons. It linked the two great halls, but it also served as a key diagonal link between Yale College, on the inside of the courtyard, and Sheffield, a block away from the outside corner. The cylindrical form of Memorial Hall and its dome function as a compositional hinge in the building and on the campus. This device successfully resolves the different facades on the outside corner, but in the courtyard it simply presides over

an awkward collision. The interior of the memorial rotunda is ringed by paired Doric columns that support a low dome with light-bulb-encrusted plaster moldings radiating from the center. It is an oddly low space that feels more like a Belle Epoque theater lobby than a sober memorial to Yale’s illustrious war veterans. The robust columns and multiple entrances leave little wall space for memorial tablets in this room, so they are relegated to an adjacent vestibule and the concentrically curved hall that embraces three-quarters of the rotunda’s circumference. It is here that Yale’s fallen heroes are commemorated on bronze and marble plaques.

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CARNEGIE INSTITUTION, FRONT AND SIDE EXTERIORS

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CARNEGIE INSTITUTION, SIDE VIEW

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ACADEMIC AND INSTITUTIONAL BUILDINGS P ORT F OL I O

COMPETITION FOR NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN, NEW YORK CITY, 1897

COMPETITION FOR THE MINNEAPOLIS MUSEUM OF ART, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, 1912

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COMPETITION FOR THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY CAMPUS, WEST POINT, NEW YORK, 1903

COMPETITION DRAWING FOR GENERAL PLAN, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, 1904

BENEDICT WING, GREENWICH HOSPITAL

MISSES ELY’S SCHOOL,

GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT, 1915

GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT, 1905

A C A D E M I C A N D I N S T I T U T I O N A L B U I L D I N G S P O RT F O L I O

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Carrère & Hastings, Architects