How Did We Get Here? NYC Design: 1780-1920
1780 – 1820: Federalist, Neoclassical and More
Abigail Adams’ Home (1799), now the Mount Vernon Hotel, recently hosted haute-colonial installations by Manhattan revival doyenne, Bebe Winkler. The building was conceived as a carriage house in 1795 by Col. William Stephens Smith and Abigail Adams, daughter of President John Adams.
1815 – 1860: The Greek and Gothic Revivals
Neighborhoods achieved distinction back then with killer classicism. Wall Street’s Federal Hall (1833) became the look of capitalism, and Brooklyn got respectable by landing Richard Upjohn churches. The biggest commission: Frederick Law Olmsted unveils Central Park (1850)!
A rendering of Central Park in the 1850s. Courtesy of the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photography Division.
1860 – 1920:
and Beaux-Arts Meet Big Industry
Cigar-chomping industrialists bring assembly-line arches and ornament to the masses. McKim, Mead & White’s store for Tiffany & Co. (1906) reveals the intimate side of the epic Beaux-Arts proportions evident at club row, Grand Central Terminal, and the Custom House.
Federal Hall in the context of the booming Financial District of 1904. Courtesy of ablarc on Wired New York.