McKim, Mead & White

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Pennsylvania Station in New York City in 1911

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.[1]

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."[2]

The firm retained its name long after the deaths of founding partners White (1906), McKim (1909), and Mead (1928).[3]

Among the firm's final works under the name McKim, Mead & White was the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Designed primarily by partner James Kellum Smith, it opened in 1964.[4]

Smith died in 1961, and the firm was soon renamed Steinmann, Cain and White. In 1971, it became Walker O. Cain and Associates.[5]

Selected works[edit]

New York City[edit]

Building Location Year Features Image
Villard Houses 451 Madison Avenue, Manhattan 1884 Villard Exterior 118503pv.jpg
Harvard Club of New York Manhattan 1894 Harvardcny.JPG
169 West 83rd Street Manhattan 1885 for David H. King, Romanesque revival
Goelet Building 900 Broadway at East 20th Street, Manhattan 1897 Goelet Building 900 Broadway.jpg
Former New York Life Insurance Company Building Manhattan 1894–98 White marble Renaissance palazzo-style building. MMW took over the commission upon the death of Stephen D. Hatch in 1894.[6] New York Life Insurance Company Building 346 Broadway.jpg
Madison Square Garden II Madison Square, Manhattan 1890 second of four buildings known by this name; razed in 1925 Madison-square2.jpg
Century Club New York City 1891 Century 7 West 43 cloudy jeh.jpg
Cable Building 611 Broadway, New York City 1893 Cable Building.jpg
West End Collegiate Church West End Avenue, Manhattan 1892 Verify Attribution West End Collegiate Church 77 jeh.JPG
Washington Arch Washington Square Park, New York City 1892 Washington Square by Matthew Bisanz.JPG
Metropolitan Club 1 East 60th St, NYC, New York 1893 Metro Club 5 Av jeh.jpg
Prospect Park Brooklyn, New York 1895–1900 Various features including Parade Place on Lookout Hill, Peristyle, Park Circle granite fixtures, Lullwater Bridge, 1895 Maryland Monument on Lookout Hill The Peristyle.JPG
Morningside Heights campus Columbia University 1893–1900 general design and individual buildings including Low Memorial Library, Philosophy Hall, John Jay Hall, Avery Hall, Hamilton Hall Low Memorial Library Columbia University College Walk Court Yard 05.jpg
University Heights campus, New York University Bronx 1891–1900 including Hall of Fame for Great Americans 1900, now site of Bronx Community College NYU library2 crop.jpg
Harmonie Club 4 East 60th Street, Manhattan 1905 Harmonie Club 1905.JPG
New York Herald Building Manhattan 1895 razed in 1921 New York Herald Building 1895; demolished 1921.jpg
Brooklyn Museum Brooklyn 1895 Brooklyn Museum June 2008 sunset jeh.JPG
University Club of New York New York City 1899
Morgan Library & Museum New York City 1903 expanded in 1928
New York Public Library branches New York City 1902-1914 designed 11 branches including Hamilton Grange Branch 1905–1906, 115th Street Branch 1907–1908 Exterior of Hamilton Grange Branch
IRT Powerhouse New York City 1904 IRT 58 St power sunny jeh.jpg
Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument Brooklyn, New York 1908 Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument from southwest.jpg
Knickerbocker Trust Building 60 Broadway, Manhattan 1909 now razed
The Manhattan Municipal Building 1 Centre Street, Manhattan 1909–1915 Manhattan Municipal Building by David Shankbone edited-1 crop.jpg
Pennsylvania Station Manhattan 1910 above-ground portion razed in 1963 Penn Station1.jpg
998 Fifth Avenue Manhattan 1912
Bellevue Hospital Center Manhattan 1912 Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital old building.jpg
James Farley Post Office Manhattan 1913 often regarded as the architectural twin of New York City's Pennsylvania Station
Racquet and Tennis Club Manhattan 1916–1918 Racquet and Tennis Club 370 Park Avenue.jpg
Hotel Pennsylvania Manhattan 1919 Hotel Pennsylvania, NY (external view, ca 1919).jpg
Town Hall 123 West 43rd Street, Manhattan 1921 Town Hall 123 W43 near sun jeh.jpg
110 Livingston Street Brooklyn 1926 former Elks Lodge, former headquarters of New York City Department of Education WSTM Zefferus 0055.jpg
Savoy-Plaza Hotel Manhattan 1927 razed in 1965 the large building at center, to the right of the taller, narrow spire
Liggett Hall Governors Island, New York 1929
DeKalb Hall and Information Science Center Brooklyn 1955
North Hall at Pratt Institute Brooklyn 1957

New England and New York State[edit]

Building Location Year Features Image
Newport Casino Newport, Rhode Island 1880 Newport Casino.jpg
John Howard Whittemore House Naugatuck, Connecticut 1880s [7]
Isaac Bell House Newport, Rhode Island 1881–1883 Isaac Bell House, Newport, RI.jpg
Cyrus McCormick summer estate, shingle-style Richfield Springs, New York 1882 razed 1957
Emdalar Castle - Tickner Estate South Kingstown, Rhode Island 1883 Restored to its original condition in 2014. Emdalar Castle Entrance.jpg
Narragansett Pier Casino Narragansett, Rhode Island 1883 Narragansett Towers intersection 2008.jpg
Salem School (Naugatuck, Connecticut) Naugatuck, Connecticut 1884 [7] about 1905
Wolf's Head Society, "Old Hall" New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University 1884 Old Wolf's Head society hall built 1884 Yale College New Haven Connecticut.jpg
Charles J. Osborn Residence Mamaroneck, NY 1885 Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club since 1952[8]
"Four Chimneys" Mansion New Rochelle, New York ?
John F. Andrew Mansion, 32 Hereford Street Boston, Massachusetts 1886
William G. Low House Bristol, Rhode Island 1887 epitome of Shingle Style architecture; razed 1962 LowHouseBristolRI.jpg
Algonquin Club Boston 1888
Johnston Gate, Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts 1889 Johnston Gate (Harvard Yard) - IMG 8974.JPG
Fayerweather Hall, Amherst College Amherst, Massachusetts 1890
Walker Art Building, Bowdoin College Brunswick, Maine 1894
Whittemore Memorial Library Naugatuck, Connecticut 1894 [7]
Adams Power Plant Transformer House Niagara Falls, New York 1895 Westinghouse Generators at Niagara Falls.jpg
Boston Public Library Boston 1895 Interior of Bates Hall
Dudley Pickman House, 303 Commonwealth Avenue (Bay Bay) Boston 1895
Reid Hall, Manhattanville College Purchase, New York 1895
Rhode Island State House Providence, Rhode Island 1895–1904 Rhode Island State Capitol (north facade).jpg
Garden City Hotel Garden City, New York 1895 burned 1899
House for Frederick Vanderbilt, "Hyde Park" Hyde Park 1895–1898 Hyde Park Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site.jpg
Woodlea Briarcliff Manor, New York 1895 now Sleepy Hollow Country Club Woodlea in Briarcliff Manor.tiff
James L. Breese House "The Orchard" Southampton, New York 1897-1906
Rosecliff Newport, Rhode Island 1898–1902
Harbor Hill Long Island, New York 1899–1902 razed 1947
Symphony Hall Boston, Massachusetts 1900 Boston Symphony Hall from the south.jpg
Hill-Stead Museum Farmington, Connecticut 1901 estate of Alfred Atmore Pope, designed with Theodate Pope Riddle Hill-Stead Museum (Farmington, CT) - west facade.JPG
Astor Courts Rhinebeck, New York 1902–1904 estate of John Jacob Astor
Rockefeller Hall, Brown University Providence, Rhode Island 1904 now Faunce House Rockefeller Hall, Brown University Providence RI.jpg
Naugatuck High School Naugatuck, Connecticut 1904 Hillside Middle School since 1959 NaugatuckHighSchool.jpg
Waterbury Union Station 389 Meadow Street, Waterbury, Connecticut 1909 Renaissance Revival style featuring a clock tower modeled on the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy[9]
Plymouth Rock portico Plymouth, Massachusetts 1920 Plymouth Rock Monument.jpg
Foster Hall, University at Buffalo South Campus Buffalo, New York 1921
Harvard Business School Boston, Massachusetts 1925
Ira Allen Chapel, University of Vermont Burlington, Vermont 1925 UVM IraAllenChapelNW2 20150731.jpg
Olin Memorial Library, Wesleyan University Middletown, Connecticut 1925
Memorial Chapel, Union College Schenectady, New York 1925
Lincoln Alliance Building Rochester, New York 1926
Rochester Savings Bank Rochester, New York 1927 Rochester Savings Bank.jpg
George Eastman House Rochester, New York c.1903 Eastman hired McKim, Mead & White to design the interior of his Georgian Colonial Revival Mansion which was nearly an exact, large scale duplicate of the Robert Root House that was built by the firm in Buffalo, New York c.1894[10]
Burlington City Hall Burlington, Vermont 1928 City Hall Burlington Vermont from southeast on Main Street.jpg
Levermore Hall, Blodgett Hall, and Woodruff Hall, Adelphi University Garden City, New York 1929
Schenectady City Hall Schenectady, New York 1931–1933 Schenectady, NY, city hall.jpg
The Little Red Schoolhouse, Amherst College Amherst, Massachusetts 1937
Housatonic Railroad Station[11] U.S. Route 7, Stockbridge, Massachusetts 1893 English Gothic Revival style, stone
New York Central Railroad Station Ardsley Avenue and Hudson Road, Ardsley-on-Hudson 1895 Shingle Style with Tudor and Romanesque Revival elements[11]
Park Lane Apartments Mount Vernon, New York 1929
The Cedars/Lord's Castle Remodel Piermont, New York 1892 "The original gable ends were stepped, the pointy "Gothick" windows were Edwardianized, the wooden porches reconstructed in stone, the tower on the west capped with a conical roof, the forest of delicate chimney pots combined and bulked up, and the reconfigured interior given heavy doses of classical columns, balusters, dadoes, fireplaces and moldings." [12][13]

New Jersey[edit]

Building Location Year Features Image
Florham Campus Fairleigh Dickinson University 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. St. Peter's tower.jpg
Hurstmont 679 Mount Kemple Avenue, Morristown, New Jersey 1902-3 Private estate.
FitzRandolph Gate Princeton, New Jersey 1905 The official entrance of Princeton University Fitzrandolph Gate.jpg
University Cottage Club Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 1906 One of the Eating clubs at Princeton University University Cottage Club Princeton.JPG
Pennsylvania Station Raymond Plaza West at Market Street, Newark, New Jersey 1935 Art Deco style[11] Newark Pennsylvania Station interior.jpg

Washington, D.C.[edit]

Building Location Year Features Image
White House, West Wing and East Wing 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 1903 Renovation West wing c. 1909
Roosevelt Hall, National War College Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. 1903–1907 Roosevelt Hall.jpg
National Museum of American History Washington, D.C. 1964 Aerial view of National Museum of American History.jpg
Patterson Mansion 15 Dupont Circle NW 1903
St. John's Church, Lafayette Square 1525 H St NW, Washington, DC 20005 1919 Renovation Patterson Mansion, 15 Dupont Circle, Washington DC - 2.jpg
Pedestal, Jeanne d'Arc[14] Meridian Hill Park 1922 Measures about 10 feet long and 6 feet high

Other U.S. locations[edit]

Building Location Year Features Image
First Methodist Episcopal Church, Lovely Lane United Methodist Church Baltimore 1884 First Methodist Episcopal Church (Lovely Lane United Methodist Church).jpg
Cramond Tredyffrin Township, Pennsylvania 1886 Cramond ECC.JPG
McKelvy House (formerly "Oakhurst"), Lafayette College, College Hill Easton, Pennsylvania 1888 [15]
New York Life Insurance Building Kansas City, Missouri 1890 NY Life Bldg Kansas City MO.jpg
Open Gates, George Sealy Mansion Galveston, Texas 1891 Open-Gates-The George Sealy Mansion.jpg
Germantown Cricket Club Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1891 Germantown Clubhouse.gif
The Agricultural Building at the World Columbian Exposition Chicago, Illinois 1893 Agricultural Building — Official Views Of The World's Columbian Exposition — 18.jpg
Old Cabell Hall, Cocke Hall, and Rouss Hall, University of Virginia Charlottesville 1898 approx
Savoyard Centre Detroit, Michigan 1900 originally State Savings Bank; National Register of Historic Places 1982 PeoplesStateBankDetroitc1920.jpg
Protection of the Flag Monument Athens, Pennsylvania 1900–1902
English Building, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Champaign, Illinois 1905
Carr's Hill, or University of Virginia President's House Charlottesville, Virginia 1906 Carrs hill.JPG
Omaha National Bank Building Omaha, Nebraska 1906 originally the New York Life Building, 1889)[16] Omaha National Bank building in 2008.jpg
Girard Bank Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1908 Girard-trust-building.jpg
Fayette National Bank Building Lexington, Kentucky 1914 [17] Fayette National Bank Building.jpg
Minneapolis Institute of Arts Minneapolis, Minnesota 1915 Minneapolis Institute of Arts.jpg
Peabody Demonstration School Nashville, Tennessee 1915 now University School of Nashville
National McKinley Birthplace Memorial Library and Museum Niles, Ohio 1915 McKinleyMem08ent.jpg
Butler Institute of American Art Youngstown, Ohio 1919 listed on National Register of Historic Places Youngstown 021 crop.jpg
Cohen Memorial Hall (Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery), Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tennessee 1928 approx
Milwaukee County Courthouse Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1931 Milwaukee County Courthouse.jpg
Chittenden Hall, University of Vermont Burlington, Vermont 1947
Dietrich Hall, now Steinberg-Dietrich Hall, University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 1952
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, North Carolina 1929 Expansion of campus Louis Round Wilson Library.JPG

Other countries[edit]

Building Location Year Features Image
Bank of Montreal Head Office Montreal 1901–1905 additions Bank of Montreal 1 db.jpg
Bank of Montreal Building Winnipeg, Manitoba 1913
American Academy in Rome Main Building Rome, Italy 1914 Americanacademyrome.jpg
Hotel Nacional de Cuba Havana, Cuba 1930 Hotel Nacional.JPG

Notable architects of McKim, Mead & White[edit]



  1. ^ Broderick, Mosette (2010), Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White: Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America's Gilded Age
  2. ^ Broderick, Mosette "Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America's Gilded Age", Knopf, page vii"
  3. ^ "[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.
  4. ^ "Mission & History". National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
  5. ^ Patricia McGraw Anderson (1988). The Architecture of Bowdoin College. Brunswick, Maine: Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
  6. ^ Goeschel, Nancy (February 10, 1987). "Former New York Life Insurance Building" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Blackwell, D. and The Naugatuck Historical Society 1996 "Images of Naugatuck". Arcadia Publishing
  8. ^ Charles J. Osborn Residence
  9. ^ Potter, Janet Greenstein (1996), Great American Railroad Stations
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ a b c Potter, Janet Greenstein (1996). Great American Railroad Stations. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 94, 154, 164. ISBN 978-0471143895.
  12. ^ "Piermont Historical Society". Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  13. ^ "Big Old Houses: I Love This House". New York Social Diary. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  14. ^ Art and Archaeology. Archaeological Institute of America. 1922.
  15. ^ "McKelvy House" on the Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project website
  16. ^ Bluffton University Digital Imagine Project
  17. ^


  • 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

External links[edit]