McKim, Mead, and White

The architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White led the American Renaissance movement, which espoused a return to classical architecture.

Charles Follen McKim (1847-1909) was the founder and leader of the firm. McKim studied briefly at Harvard's Lawrence Scientific School, then joined the office of Russell Sturgis in New York City. McKim spent three years at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Upon his return to America, he joined the Boston firm of H. H. Richardson, America's leading architect in the mid-nineteenth century. McKim was the founder and first president of the American Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. He founded the firm of McKim, Mead, and White in 1879.

William Rutherford Mead (1846-1928) studied at Amherst College, then joined the office of Russell Sturgis in New York City. He studied independently in Florence, Italy, before joining McKim's firm.

Stanford White (1853-1906) studied with H. H. Richardson before joining McKim's firm. White specialized in interior design, furnishings, and antiques. White's career came to an untimely end when he was killed by Harry K. Thaw, the jealous husband of White's mistress, Evelyn Nesbit Thaw.

McKim, Mead, and White completed several American Renaissance projects. They designed the Boston Public Library (1887-1895), the Villard Houses (1882-1885) in New York City, the World's Columbian Exposition Agriculture Building (1890-1893) in Chicago, and Pennsylvania Station (1902-1910) in New York City.

McKim, Mead, and White received several commissions in Newport, Rhode Island, including the Newport Casino (1879-1881), the Isaac Bell House (1881-1883), and the H. A. C. Taylor House (1885-1886).

Stanford White designed a ballroom for George Noble Jones's Kingscote in 1881. He designed Rosecliff (1899) for Theresa Fair Oelrichs.


Kay Davis, University of Virginia, ©2001-2003