American Experience
Murder of the Century: Sex, Money, and Murder

Stanford White:
video | transcript

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In New York at the turn of the century, the city -- the physical appearance of the city -- was changing so radically, and it was being changed largely in part by one extraordinary firm: McKim, Mead and White. So that perhaps that the character of McKim and Mead would not have had any effect on the public, but Stanford White was at every party, he was at all the openings at the theater, at the opera, at everything else. He was well over six feet tall, he had reddish hair, he was extraordinarily handsome and vivid, he moved at top speed so that even in the street, even watching this person, he was like a kind of apparition, passing through the city at all times. And of course, he was also in what amounted to the gossip columns in those days, we tend to think that they didn't have gossip columns, but they had very powerful gossip columns, which were more scandalous than anything we print nowadays. But he was one of the major figures known to exist in New York, and about whom a great mass of people revolved...