McKim, Charles Follen (1847-1909)


McKim, Charles Follen (1847-1909)


McKim, Charles Follen, 1847-1909


Born in Pennsylvania, McKim studied architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He returned to the United States in 1872, and worked in the office of H. H. Richardson in New York. In 1877 he joined up with William Rutherford Mead, then two years later with Stanford White to found the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White. They became the leading architectural practice in the United States, a position they held for many decades. The principals worked together to design Classical and Renaissance-influenced buildings. The firm designed a number of notable buildings, including the Boston Public Library (1887–95), the Rhode Island State House in Providence, Madison Square Garden (1891), the Morgan Library (1903), Pennsylvania Station (1904–10), and the Agricultural Building at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago (1893). A notable early medieval church design is Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1883-84. The Judson Memorial Church, New York (1888-93) is a masterful example of the American Renaissance. McKim also took on special projects, such as the restoration of the White House and the revival in 1901 of Pierre l’Enfant’s 1791 plan for Washington, D.C. Personally convinced that aspiring young American architects needed a basis in the European tradition, he was instrumental in founding the American Academy in Rome that he supervised from 1894. The American Institute of Architects awarded him its gold medal in 1909. He was elected an Associate of the American Institute of Architects in 1875, a Fellow in 1877, and its president 1902–03.


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