GEORGE BROWNE POST (December 15, 1837 – November 28, 1913) was an
American architect trained in the Beaux-Arts tradition . Many of his
most characteristic projects were for commercial buildings where new
requirements pushed the traditional boundaries of design. Many of them
have also been demolished, since their central locations in New York
and other cities made them vulnerable to rebuilding in the twentieth
century. Some of his lost buildings were landmarks of their era,
nevertheless. His eight-story Equitable Life Assurance Society
(1868–70), was the first office building designed to use elevators;
Post himself leased the upper floors when contemporaries predicted
they could not be rented. His Western Union Telegraph Building
Dey Street in Lower Manhattan, was the first office
building to rise as high as ten stories, a forerunner of skyscrapers
to come. When it was erected in "Newspaper Row" facing City Hall Park
, Post's twenty-story
New York World Building (1889–90) was the
tallest building in New York City.
* 1 Biography
* 2 Legacy
* 3 Selected works by
George B. Post
* 4 Notes
* 5 References
* 6 External links
He was born on December 15, 1837 in
Manhattan, New York to Joel
Browne Post and Abby Mauran Church.
He graduated from
New York University in 1858 with a degree in civil
engineering . He then became a student of
Richard Morris Hunt
Richard Morris Hunt from
1858 to 1860. In 1860 he formed a partnership with a fellow-student in
Hunt's office, Charles D. Gambrill, with a brief hiatus for service in
the Civil War. He married Alice Matilda Stone (1840-1909) on October
14, 1863. They had five children: George Browne, Jr., William Stone,
Allison Wright, James Otis and Alice Winifred.
At the World\'s Columbian Exposition in
Chicago, Illinois in 1893,
Post was named to the architectural staff by
Burnham and Root
Burnham and Root . He
designed the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building.
Post served as the sixth president of the American Institute of
Architects from 1896 to 1899, and received the
AIA Gold Medal in 1911.
He died on November 28, 1913 in
Bernardsville, New Jersey . Post
was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in
The Bronx , New York City.
He also designed more staid public and semi-public structures:
New York Stock Exchange Building
Bronx Borough Hall
Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol .
Among the prominent private houses by Post were the French chateau
Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1879–82) that once stood at Fifth
Avenue and 57th Street (that was photographed by Albert Levy while
being built), and the palazzo that faced it across the street, for
Collis P. Huntington (1889–94). In
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island he built
for the president of the
Louisville and Nashville Railroad , C.C.
Baldwin, "Chateau-Nooga" or the Baldwin Cottage (1879–80), a
polychromatic exercise in the "Quaint Style" with bargeboards and
John La Farge provided stained glass panels.
He trained architect
Arthur Bates Jennings .
A true member of the
American Renaissance , Post engaged notable
artists and artisans to add decorative sculpture and murals to his
architectural designs. Among those who worked with Post were the
Karl Bitter and painter
Elihu Vedder . Post was a founding
member of the
National Arts Club
National Arts Club , serving as president from 1898 to
1905. In 1905, his two sons were taken into the partnership, and they
continued to lead the firm after Post's death, notably as the
designers of many
Statler Hotels in cities across the United States.
Thereafter, the firm carried on under the stewardship of Post's
grandson, Edward Everett Post (1904–2006) until the late twentieth
Post served as sixth president of the American Institute of
Architects , 1896-99, and he received the
AIA Gold Medal in 1911.
His extensive archive is in the collection at the New-York Historical
Sarah Bradford Landau 's publication George B. Post, Architect:
Picturesque Designer and Determined Realist (1998) inspired a
retrospective exhibition in 1998–99 to revisit Post's work at the
Society. In 2014, curator, architect
George Ranalli presented an
exhibition of Post's drawings and photographs of the design of the
City College of New York 's main campus buildings, on loan from the
New York Historical Society
New York Historical Society .
SELECTED WORKS BY GEORGE B. POST
* The original
Williamsburgh Savings Bank , Brooklyn, New York,
1870-1875. Solidly classicizing and capped with a dome, "it might
easily have been prepared in the nineties. Indeed it prefigures McKim
's famous Columbia Library",
Henry-Russell Hitchcock noted in his
biography of H.H. Richardson
Troy Savings Bank , Troy, New York, 1875
Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn Historical Society , Brooklyn, New York, 1878–1880,
Romanesque revival building employing architectural terracotta,
originally named Long Island Historical Society
* New York Post Building, in which a deep central recess provided
light and air to the interiors, a feature that quickly became standard
for large commercial structures, 1880-1881
* Mills Building , New York City, 1881–1883, called "the first
modern office building", on a two-story base, the upper eight floors
reached by ten elevators, it used architectural terracotta panels,
which Post had helped to introduce to the United States, and
eliminated the conventional mansard roofline
New York Produce Exchange (1881–84) at
2 Broadway faced Bowling
Green . Its grand skylighted hall, based on French retail structures,
cast daylight into the lower floors. It was demolished in 1957.
* Produce Exchange (razed), New York City, in a modified
neo-Renaissance mode that clad an interior iron skeletal framing,
1881-1885, razed 1957
New York Cotton Exchange (razed), New York City, 1883–1885
New York World Building , or Pulitzer Building, New York City, at
the time of its completion the tallest building in the world ,
New York Times
New York Times Building,
41 Park Row
41 Park Row , New York City, 1888–89
* Union Trust Building (razed), 78-82 Broadway, New York City,
* The Prudential Buildings , Newark, New Jersey, 1894, Romanesque,
one for many years the largest in the state
Erie County Savings Bank building, Buffalo, New York, 1893, in
Romanesque Revival. Destroyed in 1968.
* Park Building, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1896, remodeled in the
Bronx Borough Hall , Bronx, NY, 1897
St. Paul Building , New York City, 1898
New York Stock Exchange , New York City, 1901–1903
City College of New York Campus, New York City, 1903–1907, in
Gothic Revival style
* Old Montreal Stock Exchange Building, Montreal, Quebec, 1904, now
Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol , Madison, Wisconsin, 1906
Cleveland Trust Company Building , Euclid Avenue , Cleveland, Ohio
Pontiac Hotel ,
Oswego, New York , 1912
* ^ A B "Geo. B. Post Dead; Noted Architect. Designer of New York
Stock Exchange and Many Famous Buildings Was Almost 76. Planned
Vanderbilt Home. Awarded Gold Medal of American Institute of
Architects in 1910. Also Honored by France".
New York Times
New York Times .
1913-11-29. George B. Post, founder of the firm of
George B. Post Son,
architects of 101 Park Avenue and designer of many famous buildings in
this city and throughout the ...
* ^ Winston Weisman, "The Commercial Architecture of George B.
Post" The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 31.3
(October 1972), pp. 176-203. Many details in this article are drawn
from Weisman's sketch of Post's career.
* ^ A B "George B. Post". Retrieved 2014-08-22. An architect, died
November 28, 1913, at his summer home in Bernardsville, New Jersey. He
was born December 15, 1837 in New York City. ...
* ^ Weisman 1972:176
* ^ "Guide to the Jennings Photograph Collection 1858-1957". The
New-York Historical Society. 2003. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
* ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths
POST, EDWARD EVERETT".
New York Times
New York Times . 2006-09-05. Retrieved
2008-08-07. * ^ Post's numerous other positions of honor are noted
in Weisman 1972:176.
* ^ Gray, Christopher (12 January 2014). "Streetscapes: City
College -The Very Model of a University". The New York Times.
Retrieved 11 January 2014.
George Ranalli (2013). City University of New York, ed.
"Building the modern Gothic : George Post at City College" (exh.
cat.). New York, NY: CUNY: 53 pages : chiefly illustrations (some
color), portraits, plans, facsimiles ; 26 cm.
OCLC 871036277 .
* Landau, Sarah Bradford, George B. Post:Picturesque Designer and
Determined Realist, the Monacelli Press, New York, 1998
George B. Post at the archINFORM database .