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Murder of the Century | Article

Stanford White's Manhattan

Stanford White arrived in New York City in 1879 after having spent a year in France studying architecture. Just 22 years old, bristling with energy and ideas, White descended upon a city entering a period of expansion and growth. He soon joined forces with Charles McKim, a friend from the Paris trip, and William Rutherford Mead to form the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White. During the next three decades, until his murder, White would design some of Manhattan's landmark structures, many of which are still standing today.

Browse a gallery of Stanford White structures in Manhattan.


1. The Admiral David Glasgow Farragut Memorial
Location: East 26th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue
Date built: 1881

Stanford White collaborated with Parisian sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create this memorial, a public commission. White designed the bluestone base that supported Saint-Gaudens's realistic rendering of Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, a Civil War naval hero. The memorial originally stood at the northwest corner of Madison Square.

2. Tiffany House
Location: Madison Avenue and 72nd Street
Date built: 1883 to 1885 (demolished in 1936)

Charles Lewis Tiffany, a jeweler with deep pockets, commissioned White to design a residence with separate apartments for his family. The fortress-like house featured a top-floor studio designed by Tiffany's son, Louis Comfort Tiffany, an old friend of White.

3. St. Paul's Church
Location: Columbus Avenue and 16th Street
Date built: 1887 to 1890

White's contribution to the redecoration of this Roman Catholic church was the high altar, adorned by angels designed by Frederick MacMonnies. Philip Martiny designed the hanging lamp sculpture.

4. Madison Square Garden
Location: Madison Avenue and 26th Street
Date built: 1890 (demolished in 1925)

White designed the second of four successive buildings with the name Madison Square Garden, all built in the same place as the first. White's massive facility featured the largest amphitheater in America, equipped with a tank for aquatic shows. White's apartment, where he began his affair with Evelyn Nesbit, was in the tower, which was capped with a controversial nude statue of Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt. Harry Thaw murdered White in the rooftop theater of this landmark.

5. The Judson Memorial Church
Location: South Side of Washington Square, between Thompson Street and Sullivan Street
Date built: 1893

The first church that White designed completely, Judson Memorial Church was commissioned by Edward Judson, a preacher, as a memorial to his father, missionary Adoniram Judson. The airiness of the interior and architectural style of the exterior referenced Italian Renaissance buildings.

 6. New York Life Insurance Company Building
Location: 346 Lower Broadway, between Leonard Street and Worth Street
Date built: 1893

White enlarged and redesigned an insurance company's headquarters by adding eight stories to the front and a 12-story extension in the back. The entire structure was topped by a massive clock tower, which supported a sculpture by Philip Martiny, White's collaborator on the St. Paul's Church renovation.

7. William Collins Whitney House
Location: Fifth Avenue and 68th Street (571 Fifth Avenue)
Date built: 1896 to1902

William C. Whitney, a former Secretary of the Navy, amassed a fortune as one of the principals behind the Metropolitan Street Railway Company of New York. White transformed the original house on this location, taking over five years and spending several million dollars. He also furnished the interior of the house lavishly, with rare tapestries and animal pelts. The New York Times wrote that the grandiose house was "without rival in this country."

8. The Colony Club
Location: Between 30th and 31st Streets on Madison Avenue
Date built: 1904

White designed the brick building that housed the Colony Club, the first private clubhouse for women in America. It is now home to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

9. Washington Square Arch
Location: Fifth Avenue and Waverly Place, Washington Square Park
Date built: 1895

Stanford White's marble arch, a fixture of Greenwich Village, was designed to commemorate the centennial of George Washington's inauguration in 1889. The original, a temporary wooden arch, was so popular that it was soon rebuilt in marble. Until 1971, cars were permitted to drive through the arch.

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