Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #39

Stanford White (1853 – 1906)

39 Stanford White

Thanks to the novel, movie, and Broadway musical, Ragtime, Stanford White will always be better remembered for his sensational life and death than for his architecture. But, while his seduction of Evelyn Nesbit and his murder at the hands of her husband Harry K. Thaw make for great drama, the fact remains that the architectural grandeur of New York City would be very different without him. A great practitioner of the Beaux-Arts style, White designed such glorious structures as the Gould Memorial Library, the Bowery Savings Bank, and the second Madison Square Garden. Washington Square Park is bookended by his work, with Judson Memorial Church to the south and the Washington Square Arch (White’s most famous erection) to the north. White was well loved in the social set, frequenting parties and gaining a reputation as a sociable, outgoing, gregarious fellow of enormous charm. He designed many of the grand social clubs of the city, sometimes at a reduced fee in exchange for a lifetime membership. These include the Century Association, the Colony Club, The Princeton Club, the Metropolitan Club and its arch rival the Harmonie Club, and The Players where he spent his last afternoon.

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