Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Appendix A
 Appendix B
 Appendix C
 Appendix D

Title: Cass Gilbert : a history
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00101118/00001
 Material Information
Title: Cass Gilbert : a history
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Knott, A. Dean
Publisher: A. Dean Knott
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1976
Copyright Date: 1976
Subject: Historic preservation
Cass, Gilbert, 1859-1934
Architecture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Architecture -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
General Note: Course number: AE682
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Bibliographic ID: UF00101118
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Appendix A
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Appendix B
        Page 24
    Appendix C
        Page 25
    Appendix D
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
Full Text

A History

A. Dean Knott
History 682
March 2, 1976


Report .... .. . .............. . ............ . 1-20

Appendix "A". ... ..... ......................... .21-23

Appendix "B".................................. 24

Appendix "C"....... ..........................25

Appendix "D"................................... 26-31





In the late 1800's and early 1900's there was a
noted architect who, when he died, was so mourned that
some critics claim qa chapter of American art had
been closed. Certainly,with his passing, the classical
movement in this country, of which he was a major leader
and exponent, was soon to follow. The fact that he
was a classicist is perhaps the reason why no great
amount of literature has been published on him, for
gropius, van der Rohe, and Wright were beginning to
become major influences at the time of his death.
The architect referred to above is Cass Gilbert.
At one time his name was one to the best known and
most respected in architecture, not only in this
country, but around the world. Now he is almost
anonymous, having fallen in the shadow of 19th century
architects like the firm of McKim, Mead, andWhite and
20th century giants like Wright and Van der Rohe.
However, he was an important figure who spanned both
periods in actual time anqd "n ids. )
There is some miua a4& to' the actual date of his
birth. Some sources say that the date was January 28,
1858 and others November 24, 1859, the latter date being
-more accurate The rest of his life is very well
documented and therefore easily traced. He was born
in Zaneville, Ohio, to an upper middle class family.
His father was Samuel A. Gilbert, who was a hero and
a brigidier- general in the Civil War. His mother was
Elizabeth (Wheeler) Gilbert, and his grandfather, Charles
Champlin Gilbert, was the first mayor of Zaneville and
a very wealthy man. These facts later enabled Gilbert


to be independent enough to be able to pursue his interest
in architecture.
After a basic education, Gilbert left home and
entered apprenticeship under an architect in St. Paul,
where he got his first training, in 1876. After two
years he entered thr relatively new school:-of archi-
tecture at the Mass. Institute of Technology and completed
a special course in 1879 (one year) under Prof. Letang.
While there, he comepted for and won the Institute prize
for the year 1878-'79. This was the first of many awards,
prizes, and competitions he would win. During the
following summer he was appointed to the Coast Survey
to plot the point on which rests the National Military
Academy at- West Point, this was to b6ethe first of many
government commissions.
Like all young students of architecture, he then made
a grand tour of Europe from January of 1880 to September
of the same year. While there, he went to England,
France, and Italy and met the great architects of the
day. In England he studied under Street, Waterhouse,
and Patterson (one of the greatest Victorian arch-
itectural firms in England), andin France he was
introduced to the works of Viollet-le-Duc and became
familiar with the theories and teachings of the
Ecole de Beaux Arts. These influences set the tone of
his style o4 later years; *Mwever he never studied
under le-Du or at the Ecole, he merely appreciated
understood, and subscribed to their principles.
After his return from Europe in 1880, Gilbert
went in the offices of McKim, Mead, and White, where
he was the p~9oni'l assistant to Sanford White and
aided White in several of his major comisions.


This is another important influence in Gilbert's early
years which led him to establish a reputation as a
classicist. While at McKim, Mead, and White he worked
on the Newport Casino, Drayton House, Louis Comfort
Tiffany's House, and the Villard Houses, also he was
manager of one of the firms branch offices and
supervised several of the firms field operations.
The casino and Villard Houses are probably the
two -ismesds" ,which wxrc a otrong influence him ad
t. .. infl.n. while under the firm's tutelage._
The casino is a late romanesque shingle style afd traces
of its influence can be found in some of his early
residences his firm produced in St. Paul a few years
later. The Villard Houses reflect the classicism
he would eventually adopt as his signature. Also,
White's Boston Public Library is of extreme importance
and figures into one of his late works, the Old
Library at the University of Texa yhich is almost the
same building except on a smaller scale. Though
he at no time copied or directly imitative, he
would allow himself to be influenced jbly.r
After leaving the offices of McKim, Mead, and
White, Gilbert moved to St. Paul and formed a partner-
ship with James Knox Taylor, who later became Super-
intendent of Buildings for the U.S. Treasury and
did work in a very classical vein all around the
country. During the course of their partnership
(1882-1892), under the name of Gilbert and Taylor,
they designed a large amount of residential, commercial,
religious, and industrial structures. Their trade-
mark was ( elaborate and carefully dawn-working
drawings, perspectives, and watercolor renderings

in which both were accomplished but Gilbert excelled.
Also, Gilbert was known for his exceptional sketching
ability. In -@o-- his rough sketches he could
outline the massing and arrange f solids and voids
of a structure in perspective, and these sketches \ '
would check closely to finished drawings, l4 SE-ct4 + ?CteoaCtF.
Both menworked on drawings along with their drafts-
men on especially important jobs.Amid here was ,a
firm but congenial atmosphere in their office()which
is exemplified by a letter to his men, which says,
"I value... The friendship of you fellows who worked
with me...I always feel in the office that every
fellow n it is my co-laborer and my friend...",tanft-

Under this atmosphere the work produced was very
carefully worked out with no detail left to chance.
The style of the office varied a little, but
overall was a refined, simplified, almost modern (in
some examples), shingle style with romanesque details.

At this time,in his commercial structures, Gilbert
(seemqto be searching for a solution to the tall
narrow facade treatment most stores of the period cv
were receiving while still remaining in an accepted
style of the day. At times he7 cJeMe o lean towards
Louis Sullivan and his teachings. The three structures '4'JL1
7_ ,show this best are the T.L. Blood Building,
Western Supply CO. Bldg., and a study for a building
in ST. Paul.
In the T.L. Blood Bldg. there is a severe simplicity,
due to design or economy. The vertical elements are
stressed but in a modified form, and the windows


are mere jjmu@g in the wall surface, without even the
simplest moulding. The cornice, though classic in
-BI-origin, has been reduced to the pure geometry of
form one would expect from the Art Deco period fifty
years later. Th building has the amount G
of Sullivan's in its vertiality.aided'by
the window alignment 4t emphasizesthis, though none
of the typical Sullivan ornament has been applied.
Also shown are the three elements of his later sky-
scrapers, and even at this early date,are carefully
deafjXed. First the base, then the shaft, then the
capit_,~ for it was felt that a tall building was most
'lTke a column, a formula and ideal which has not died
from our present concept for tall buildings.L e-ven

In the next building, Western Supply Co., the
cornice has been reduced further to a moulding at the
top, and while the windows are more elaborate, they
still have a simple geometry. This building does not
have the verticality of the first,however. In the
last building, the study, you see an abandonment of
the e6lier traits, though the simplicity is still
retained there is no strong vertical thrust as in
the Blood building.
In their largest and most important t.R-Ia sTm,'
the fifm resorts to classical motifs. The Endicott
Building in St. Paul expresses horizontality, but not
of the Sullivan type, rather in the stoic classic
tradition. Yet, the building differs from most of the
examples of classical commercial architecture of the
day in the refinement of its detail and its simplicity,
which contrasts favorably to the usual eiatlei"T over-
abundance of architectural ornament so common at the

time. This elegance in detail and careful proportioning
was to be a trademark of Gilbert all through his career.
Rather than expressing the eclecticism or heaviness
of the early Beaux Arts movement in America, this
building harkens to mind the lightness of its High
Renniasnce and Palladian prototypes.
The entrance is) perhaps the only out of character
element, having a Romanesque feeling while detailed
in an Itallianate fashion, however this can be over-
looked in view of the overall success of the design.
The importance of the building being in that though
they had expirimented with newer ideas, on their
major commissions they returned to a more accepted and
classic style which they could handle more knowledgeably
with taste without being imitative.
Of their residences little can be said. They
rged from neo-classic revival (fairly early examples)
to shingle style or romanesque, however they all main-
tained an extreme simplicity. Their churches (esp.
the Presbyterian Church) could have been designed by
Upjohn. However, each building is individual, simple
and very charming and picturesque, especially the
Swedenborgen and Bethlehem Churches. Both of these
buildings could have as easily been in Switzerland
or Germany as in St. Paul.
After the dissolution of the partnership, Gilbert
remained in St.. Paul. In 1896 he received his most
important(comk to date. He won the competition
for the Minnesota State Capitol. This building,
which has been called "... the best of the state
capitols of the established type,"3 and which rep-
resented "...the exhuberance of his vigorous youth."4

is very important to his career in that it made him
nationally known and his career catapaulted, also
it gave him a chance to design on a grand scale.
The buildinpg's overall form never changed from
its rigivnaaZ conception. A few minor details altered,
the lo gga has arches and engaged columns instead
of coupled columns, and the s leading to the
main entrance are more narrow, but for the most
part his general design was set very early. The dome
was most unusual because it was of the same stone
as the rest of the building, gray-white marble.
The fact thae it was even masonry instead of cast
iron or tile was the most unusual aspect of it.
The dome is a very close imitation of the ong at
St. Peter's in Rome except on a smaller scale. This
was the most controversial aspect of the entire
design. One critic, Keynon Cox, said the it was
a "...vast piece of sculpture...almost the substance
of the sky, intO which it melts like a snow-peak on
the horizon."5 However another critic, Russell Sturgis,
called the building "not strikingly different" from
other capitols of the same style and considered
the dome a bad imitation of its prototype He also
claimed the building was an improper base for the
dome in that it did not build up to the dome and
give it support rather it stretched out from\ the
However the relationship of the dome to the
facade was considered to be successful because the
standard pediment of most classical buildings had
been eliminated from the front as it would have
intruded visually on the base of the dome and would
have made the dome appear to be resting on the point

of the triangle because of the proximinity of the
dome to the facade of the building.
The buildings overall scale is indeed very grand
and the dome itself is a rather heavy interpretation
of the Baroque style (the projections of this smaller
copy being bolder than the ones on its larger proto-
type). The rest of the building is very restrained.
The interior contained a rotunda, Senate and
Supreme Court at the ends of the wings, and a House
of Representatives. Evidently due to the political
structure the house was a minor legislative branch
and was delegated to a small and relatively unimportant
room just off the rotunda in the central block.
The finish materials were carefully selected so the
natural colors would provide the decoration which
for the most part was sedate and rich without being
The rotunda itself is perhaps the best part of
the building. The first floor has a circular arcade
and the second is an octagon formed on four sides by
the corridors of the wings and entrances. The dome is
placed on this octagon by means of pendatives, which
is a distinct variation to the usual cylindrical
form for the interior of the rotunda.
As stated preivously, this omission aided his
career greatly and brought his architecture to national
attention. His next major Momission was but a few
years later when he won the competition for the
new customshouse in New York over several other better
known firms. Because of this job he opened a branch
office in New York and in 1899 moved his main offices
there premanently, hough he continued lu upervise

th-e- con"tructr11 uf Lhe Minnesota Capitol till 1903
when i was Acomplt ,:0kHept a branch office
in St. Paul which continued to do work in the area. r-4e w.
The customshouse was a rather robust exercise
in classicism and lacks the refinement of detail of
his earlier and later buildings. When the building was
built it was severely criticized especially in the
handling of the orders which were thought to be too
weak and his roof which hides behind theaattic story
though it could still be seen. This building overall is
a good example of what Gilbert tastes were. Though
elaborate compared to some of his earlier and later
works, it is still less fussy than most of the other
structures of the day. One critic at the time of
its construction said-it was, ;"The best planned,
least bookish, most vigorously American and strongest
piece of monumental designing among all the public
buildings of the United States."7 This statement sums
up the building in general and some of Gilbert's
philosophies on architecture, which will be delt with
more deeply later.
* By the completion of the New York customshouse,
Glbert's reputation as a leading architect and
classicist was firmly established. His offices in
New York were loaded with work and commissions, and
he entered and won many competitions. During these
first years the style he had started to developed.
in St. Paul became more cosmopolitan and refined and
mature. His Union Club of 1901 was very different
from the customshouse, though still in the same
vein, and exemplified his design development. It
is a very simple building, yet one can tell it was

very carefully thought out and the detailing of the
ornament has become much more academic in it application.
The style is the same as that of and taflian plazzo,
and is very close to its historic prototype but is
also very similar to an earlier club done by McKim.
Maad and WhitQ. Yet, by the inclusion of a balustrade
at the top, and by alternating the window surrounds
and pediments, he saves the structure from being a
copy and creates a definite and distinct architectural
expression. This building is the highest expression
of his penchant for classicism.
However, Gilbert did not limit himself to purely
-peaix. rr.tvi
classical building design, prefe to choose a ---
style which he felt fit the prupose of the building,
classical othic, romanesque, or otherwise. He
thus gives'his work a great of variety and never
seems to become stale go ^epitous in his ideas or
designs. On the other hand many of his works are classical,
such as his Detroit Public Library (1914) and St.
Louis Public Library (1908). The former of these
is so purely neo-classic that it could have been a
pavillion at tersailles He felt for most public
works the classic was the best style to produce a
monumental effect. Monumentality was, in his opinion,
the purpose of public buildings, because "Nhe poor
man can not fill his home with works of art. The
State can however, satisfy his natural craving for
such things...by properly embellishing its public
buildings..." .
In his skyscrapers, a building type he helped
to pioneer, he selected the gothic as the best historic
style to stress the verticality of the building

without it looking architecturally absurd. His first
major skyscraper was the Broadway Chambers Bldg.
(1899) which, at the time, was considered a very bold
structure and a fitting prototype for other new
buildings of the type. Its style is hardly gothic
yet it is not classical. However, in this building
Gilbert was not intent on stressing linear aspects by
the style, but trying to formulate a basis for over-
all composition. At that time most skyscrapers
received the same divisions as though it were a
column base,sshaft, and capit and most of these
buildings failed to satisfy -hB,in their deliniation
and composition, the critics who said that most
of the buildings looked unsafe and only the knowledge
that a steel frame held the masonry in place, which
had by now been reduced to a skin, made people feel
comfortable around them.
Gilbert articulated the parts of the skyscraper
so that the base looked like it was actually supporting
the rest of the structure, the shaft was functional and
supported the capitol, which did not overpower the rest
of the structure or look top heavy yet formed a
fitting crown for the structure.
His West Street Bldg. (1905) even increases that
definition of parts, though not through any change
of material or color, but through the modeling of
the parts and their proportions. Also, he used the
Gothic style for this structure and the slender a
attenuated pilasters common to the gothic to *ve the
building it now characteristic verticality. -lere
too he begins to show the structure of the steel frame
in the outer skin by matching the horizontals and

verticals in location and proportion to the corres-
ponding members of the framing. The top is crowned
by unifying the top three stories above the shaft to
give this area an added lightness and tops this with
an attic story which looks very much like a castle
battlement. The total is topped by a mansard roof
which contains the offices of the building management,
an approach which Louis Sullivan advocated.
The effectiveness of this building to -
accentuate the structure and verticality was not just
in the applied ornamental style, but in the masssing
and fenestration and grouping of the windows. In
a picture of the rear of the structure one can still
see the form of the frame and the vertical direction,
though the front and sides which have been ornamented
express these qualities a little mre effectively.
The West Street Bldg. ..the Wool-
worth Bldg by seven years- ad the latter had many of
the elements of the earlier building including a
tower which was cut out of the final design of the
West Street Bldg. at the time of construction.
Both buildings were considered to be the finest
examples of skyscraper architecture before the New
York setback ordinances.
The Woolworth Bldg. was also chosen to be in
the Gothic style. Gilbert gave his reasons by saying
that he felt the ,,-was "... on the verge of a
new mediaevalism-a great world upheval..." and that
the style, besides contributing to the aforementioned
asthetic considerations, also reflected this back-
wards progress of man. All this just a few years
before the outbreak of World War I!

At the time of its erection, the Woolworth
Building was considered to be the most beautiful
piece of architecture to be produced by 20th century
man, and was a work of pure genius. Even later,
when classic or other historic styles were being
shunned, the work still held the admiration of many of
the more modern architects for its lines and form,
an dallmadge called it without argument "... one
of the greatest monuments of the world". Also,
for the first twenty years of it xt it was
the tallest (792 ft.) building in the world.
The building contained the same characteristics
as his West Street Building, but they are carried
to a greater refinement in their execution in the
later example. The verticles are more prominent,
but the horizontals are not lost either and every
five floors he gives them even more emphasis so the
building can be visually staged. At the center
of the front the verticles, which continue into
the tower and form its outer limits, are extra
heavy so as to give definition to the tower all the
way to the ground and to give it strength. Also,
Gilbert allowed the maximum and minimum rent space
and the engineering requirements to be the guide-
lines in the final design, a very "modern" concept.
although clothed in historic trappings.
In his last great skyscraper, the New York Life
Insurance Building (1928), Gilbert is somewhat
repetitive. He is still using the Gothic motif
along with a tall central tower. There is a difference,
though, now he has staged the sides and back of
the building and a lower level to create a buildup

of different levels to support the main center.
tower. This is quite different from his rglo
conception of the building, which was to be a solid
block on a massive base slightly larger than the
main upper stories. The form in which the structure
was finally erected actually anticipates the set-
back ordinances in New York which were to preserve
the open air and light to the lower portions of
the streets.
His major government(oemisio s are as
different as night and day. One, the U.S. Army
Supply Base (19186'19), is plain and purely
utilitarian, while the other, the U.S. Supreme
Court Building (1931-'36), is highly ornamental,
though still functional. The supply base was
basically y16 great warehouses connected by an
arcaded train track for the moving of supplies
used in the war effort. It is intensely utilitarian
and massive as it was built during the urgency
of war and out of necessity. The building could
have been designed by Kahn or Rudolph or any of
the present day architects, because of its use
of poured in place concrete as a building material
to remain exposed after construction, and its lack
of ornament usingtproportions and massing alone
to give it a sense of beauty. Indeed, it was not
greatly appreciated, except for its lines and
proportions, until the most recent years and
is now considered to be one of his greatest and most
timeless works. The building really represents
his aaa its purest, for if all his other
works wereto be stripped of their ornament as this

one is, most all of Gilbert's buildings would retain
their basic qualities and beauty because, as the;
supply base proves, his work is not beautiful Ass-
because it is clothed in classic architectural
treatment, but because of its proportions and massing-,
and modeling. The base was reccomended as a use-
ful prototype which all warehouse structures should
follow, because it expressed "... the nature of
the material with unusual directness."'1 A quality
which is sought after even today.
All these same traits cansbe found in his Supreme
Court Building, his last and considered by him to
be his best work. As stated earlier, he selected
style as to the purpose and in this case he decided
on a Greek Classic Revival motif, because the
project required granduer and harmony with existing
federal structures. Though no cost was spared and
some of the m for construction were imported
from the Carra quarries, the building (including
furnishings) was completed for $500,000 less than
the amount allocated for the construction. Very
little can be said of the building except that,
though it is a final monument of a grand Beaux Arts
architect, it does fit its purpose and has a great
deal of quiet refined dignity, this refinement being
the signature of its architeet;.
Other major buildings or projects which Gilbert
worked on are the West Virginia State Capitol (1926-'31),
a number of buildings at Oberlin College from f90V
to 1929. competitions for the Montana State Capitol
in 1896, several public libraries all over the country,
a group of buildings in Waterbury, Conn. and

Newark, N.J., bridges for the NewYork Port Authority,
plans for the campus of the University of Minnesota
and the University of Texas and buildings for each,
the U.S. Treasury Annex and the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce, the Festival Hall and Art Bldg and the
Louisanna Purchace Exposition of 1904 and numerous
other buildings which are listed in appendix .A". r-,
Also, during these year Gilbert a
number of honors and kept( o -busy with pro-
fessional organizations. The first of his academic
awards was the M.I.T. prize for 1870-'79. He was
awarded honorary LLD's by the Umiversity of Michigan-
1916, Oberlin College-1917, Middlebury College-1920,
and by Princeton in 1932, a Dr. of Fine Arts by
New York University in '31 and a Litt D. by Columbia
in '31. His competitions included the state
capitols previously mentioned, the customshouse,
a U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, the
plan for the U. of Michigan, Waterbury' city hall,
and the New York Federal Courthouse (completed by
his son Cass Gilbert, Jr.).
Other awards included exposition gold medals
for architecutre at Paris in 1900, St. Louis 1904,
Leipsic 1912 and San Francisco in 1915, Chevalier
of the Legion of Honor, and Holder of the Order of
King Albert of Belgium, honorary corresponding
menber of the Royal Institute of British Architects,
and honorary member of the Royal Institute of
Canadian Architects.
In addition to his practice, Gilbert held
a great many offices on public T and in
professional associations. He'was appointed by

Theodore Roosevelt in 1909 as Chairman of the Council
of Fine Arts and under Taft and Wilson was a member
of the succeeding Comission of Fine Arts, President
of the A.I.A. 190-89 and a fellow by 1899, founder
and president o the Architectural League of New
York, member and resident of the American Academy
of Arts and Letters an he National Academy of Design,
and a charter member of the American Academy in
Rome. While a member of the A.I.A., he encouraged
the return to the L'Enfant plan for Washington and
while President he aided the A.I.A. in clearing the
Octagon from debt and helped establishan endowment
for the property. He served on as msot with
Richard L. Olmsdorf wh reported proposals on
the future layout for New Haven and sat on the
national jury of selection for the World' Columbian
> Exposition of 1893. considerable a-munt of -U T 5^ -
1 ; soape isYnts _- a~4-to having one of the( most
successful firms in thecountry.J -.-~,,C' p' t <<
Upon his death, several najor publications
ran eulogies -" retr.pe. ctiv. about his life and
architecture. It was sai hat, "He made no little
12 k
plans." This is about the most accurate summation
which can be made about Gilbert and his architecture.
Gilbert's whole philosophy was based on monumentality
and refinement of line and proportion and detail.
He was honest to a fault, especially in his dealings
with public monies for public buildings, as evidenced
by the figures for the Supreme Court building. it
th- refleled on his strong character. Also, he
was a complete professional and detested, indeed
would not tolerate, sloppy workmanship either at

the office or on the construction site.
His own feelings about architecture were
expressed in a letter where he wrote, "To become
anCArditect in the right sense of the otd means
that a man shall give his life to it\ K nothing
else, and shall study the work he has to do with
enthuastic interest in every detail pertaining to
it, and content himself with nothing less than
complete success. He must have also certain gifts
of imagination and a natural or carefully acquired
sense of proportion."O He goes on to say that he
must also convince his clients, subordinates, and
builders that he knows what he's doing, so as to
have his plans carried out as instructed.L@ i
Concerning the monumentality of his designs,
Gilbert once wrote an article titled "The Greatest
Element of Monumental Architecture", this element
being good proportion. "e abhorred structures
which were big for the sake of size alone, using the
terms "merely gigantic or( "merely colossal"14
to depreciate them. Along the same vein he criticized
Burnham by saying that he (Burnhamr) "...really
liked the biggest thing he ever did-or thought he
He felt the scale should fit thejob and the
purpose of the structure, and that one could achieve
monumentality at even a small scale as in his
numerous libraries, Detroit's being the best example,
or in his small municipal buildings the Essex
County Courthouse and Waterbury's City g '
!:1191C,4gi iVtl about tIn yaars o). \ iJ
Also, he felt proportion of the individual
parts should fit the whole. Where-as a building

in itself migh e quite attractive, detailing or
other individual elements might be bad thus marring
the whole composition or vice versa. This facet
of his philosophy he applied to planning of whole
areas, and is shown in his downtown buildings at
Waterbury where he carefully related all the buildings
to each other in scale and massing, though he did
not make them identical or even of the same style.
In Washington he also showed his planning ability
in the Treasury Annex and the Chamber of Commerce,
6oa- both buildings are almost identical but this
=. )cause they are on the same square and were to
serve as parts in a total scheme much like the
great residential squares and circuses of England.
When considering materials, Gilbert liked to
use as much as possible different ones which would
supply him with his color scheme though their
natural colors. Also, he felt _v-Xter ial should
express themselves and their function. The most
extreme example of this is his U.S. Army Supply
Base mentioned earlier.
Finally, in considering ornament, Gilbert
felt that there was nothing worse than bad art,
and the amount of ornament or art on a building
should be held down in pr portion to the rest of -' y. <
-the struc re ad its; use He asQ co si ered
ornament in bad taste if it was too abundant. to4 c -.A
In his eyes, ornament should accent the massing
and modeling of the building not hide it. For this
reason he was able to do buildings as varied as
the Army Supply Base and, on the opposite end of
the scale, the Minnesota State Capitol.

naF, one can say that Gilbert really had
many of the same ideas as the more "modern" architects
of his time. Proportion and massing were the major
asthetic considerations and that the form of the
building should reflect its function and purpose,
and that a building should not be over ornamented and
if need be completely stripped of ornament.
During the years of Gilbert's practice ro0Khe
late 1890's on,he was a major influence in American
architecture. His Minnesota Capitol was imitated
as were his skyscrpaers, especially his Woolworth
Building which set precedents followed even today.
He was of course an exponent of the Ecole de Beaux
Arts and was even known to help defray the expenses
of young men going to the school in Paris.
As the years passed and the classical school
became increasingly under fire, Gilbert managed
to retain his stature, mainly because of the principles
of architecture he developed. With his death, as
stated earlier, classicism soon died, for Gilbert
had been the guiding inspiration of the Beaux Arts
movement in America. _Vaj
For the most part he was(traete d with indifference
by the historians and architects who immediately
followed him, mainly because of the classic
tendencies he exhibited. During the past -Nbeg-/
years many of his philosophies, especially those
on honestly and quality of workmanship have been
ignored. However, the basic principles of his
architecture being sound for any school of thought,
still give him a degree of influence although an
indirect one, on the architecute of today.


Name Date Location Condition
1. Newport Casino, 1879-1881, Newport, R.I., Demolished
2. Louis Comfort Tiffany House, 1880-1882, New York, "
3. Villard Houses, 1880-1882, New York, Demolished
4. Endicott Building, 1882-1892 est., ST. Paul, -?
5. Residence-A. Kirby Barnum, 1885, Dellwood, St. Paul, ?
6. Row houses for T.L. Schurmier, 1885, St. Paul, ?
7. Gotzian & Co., 1882-1892, ST. Paul, ?
8. Northern Pacific R.R. Bldg., ?, ST. Paul, ?
9. Study for a Building, ?, St. Paul, Project
10. T.L. Blood & Co., ?, St. Paul, ?
11. Western Supply & Co., ?, St. Paul, ?
12. Presbyterian Church, ?, St. Paul, ?
13. Sewdenborgen Church, ?, ?
14. Bethlehem Church, ?, ?
15. Cottage ?, White Bear Lake, ?
16. Residence ?, St. Paul, ?
17. John W. White, ?, ", ?
18. Geo. C. Squires, ?, ?
19. W.H. Lightner, ?, "- ,?
20. ?, ? ,
21. Residence ?, ?
22. ST. Clements Memorial Church, 1895, St. Paul, ?
23. Minnesota State Capitol, 1896-1903, Extant
24. Montana State Capitol, 1896, ? Project
25. Building for E.D. Chamberlin, 1896, St. Paul, ?
26. Agriculture Bldg. at the Omaha Expn., 1997, Omaha,
Neb., Demolished
27. Frazier Bldg., 1897, Boston, Mass., ?

28. U.S. Customs House, 1899-1906, New York, ?
29. Memorial Flagpole base, late 1890's, St. Paul, Extant
30. Broadway Chambers, 1899, New York, ?
31. Pelham Station, early 1900's, New York, ?
32. Union Club, 1901, New York, Extant
33. Festival Hall, La. Purchace Expn., 1904, St. Louis,
34. Art Bldg., La. Purchace Expn., 1904, St. Louis, Extant
35. Essex Co. Courthouse, 1903, Newark, N.J., Extant
36. Realty Co. Warehouse, 1903, St. Paul, ?
37. American Insurance Co. Bldg., 1905, New Haven Conn., ?
38. Ives Memorial Library, 1905, New Haven, Conn., ?
39. West Street Bldg., 1905, New York, ?
40. Presbyterian Union Theological Seminary, 1907,
New York, ?
41. Finney Memorial Chapel-Oberlin College, 1907, Oberlin,
Ohio, Extant.
42. Plan for the U. of Minnesota, 1908, ? ,
43. Plan for the U. of Texas, est. early 1900's, Austin,
Texas, not in use
44. Public Library, 1908, St. Louis, Extant
45. Suffolk Savings Bank, 1910, Boston, Mass., ?
46. Port Morris Station, 1910, New York, ?
47. WOOLWORTH BLDG., 1911-1913, New York, Extant
48. Rebuilding of Arkansas State Capitol, 1912,Little Rock,
Ark., Extant
49. Waterbury City Hall, 1913-'16, Waterbury, Conn., ?
50. Kinney Bldg., 1913, New York, ?
51. Scott Memorial Fountain, 1914, Bell Isle, Detroit,
52. Public Library, 1914, Detroit, Extant

53. Union Central Life Ins. Bldg., 1915, Cincinnati,
Ohio, ?
54. Art Bldg., Oberlin College, 1915, Oberlin, Ohio, ?
55. Allen Hospital, Oberlin College, 1910's, Obeiin,
Ohio, ?
56. Public Library, 1915, Beverly, Mass., ?
57. School for Industrial Arts, 1915, Trenton, N.J., ?
58. Newark Memorial Bldg., 1916, Newark, N.J., Project
59. Studies for a Tower at Oberlin, 1916, Oberlin, Ohio, ?
60. Battle Hall, U of Texas, 1916, Austin, Texas, Extant
61. U.S. Treasury Annex, 1918-'19, Washington D.C., Extant
62. US Army Supply Base, 1918-'19, Brooklyn, ?
63. U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1919-'25, Washington, Extant
64. Administration Bldg. Oberlin, 1919, Oberlin, Ohio, ?
65. Federal)-Reserve Bank, 1919, New York, PROJECT
66. Federal Reserve Bank, 1924, Minneapolis, ?
67. First Division Monument, 1924, Washington D.C., ?
68. West Virginia Capitol, 1926-'31, Charleston, Extant
69. Waterbury National Bank, 1927, Waterbury, Conn., ?
70. Gibralter Bldg., 1927, Newark N.J., ?
71. Husdon River Bridge, 1927, New York, Extant
72. Academy of Arts and Letters, 1928, New York, Proj.
73. U.S. Legation, 1928, Ottawa, Canada, Extant
74. New York Life Ins. Bldg., 1928, New York, Extant
75. Sutton Hall, U. of Texas, 1931, Austin, Texas, Extant
76. Study to Heighten US Customshouse, 1928, New York, Proj.
77. Auditorium @ Oberlin C., 1929, Oberlin, Ohio, Proj.
78. New York Lawyer's Assn., 1930's, New York, ?
79. Seaside T.B. Hosp., Niantic, Conn., 1930's, ?
80. Supreme Court Bldg., 1931-'35, Washington D.C., Extant
81. Kill Van Kull Bridge, 1932, New York, Extant
82. Seaside Hospital, 1934, Waterford, Conn., ?
83. Federal Courthouse, 1936, New York, Extant


1895-Born, Zaneville, Ohio
1876-Apprenticed to St. Paul architect
1878-79-Went to M.I.T. and studied under Letang
1880- Traveled in Europe, exposed to Beaux Arts
1880-Enters firm of McKim, Mead, and White
1882-Forms partnership with James Knox Taylor in St. Paul
1887-Married Julia T. Finch
1892- Dissolved partnership
1893-On National Jury for 1893 Columbian Expn.
1896-Won competition for Minnesota State Sapitol
1897-Agricultural Bldg., Omaha Expn.
1899-Became F.A.I.A. & won U.S. Customshouse comp.
1899-Moved main office to New York
1900-Gold medal for architecture, Paris Expn.
1904-Art Bldg, and FEbtival Hall La. Purchace Expn &
gold medal for architecutre
1908-'09-President of A.I.A.
1911-Began Woolworth Building
1912-Gold medal from Leipsic Expn.
1915-Gold medal from San Francisco Expn.
1918-Began U.S. Army Supply Base
1926-Began West Virginia State Capitol
1931-U.S. Supreme Court Begun
May 17, 1934-Died, Brockenhurst, England


1. Guy Kirkham, F.A.I.A., "Cass Gilbert, Masterof
Style", PENCIL POINTS, vol. 15, Nov. 1934, p. 545.


3. IBID.,p. 547

4. IBID.

5. Keynon Cox, "The New State Capitol of Minnesota",
ARCHITECTURAL RECORD, vol. 17, Aug. 1905, p. 97.

6. Russell Sturgis, "Minnesota State Capitol",
ARCHITECTURAL RECORD, vol. 19, Jan 1906, p. 31.

7. Francis S. Swales, "Master Draftsmen, XVIII: Cass
Gilbert", PENCIL POINTS, vol. 7, Oct. 1926, p. 585.

8. Cass Gilbert, "The Greatest Element of Monumental
Architecture", THE AMERICAN ARCHITECT, vol. 136,
pp. 143-144.

9. Swales, PENCIL POINTS, vol. 7, P. 588.

10. Kirkham, PENCIL POINTS, vol. 15, p.549.

11. Cass Gilbert, "United States Army Supply Base",
THE ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW, vol. 10, Jan. 1920, p. 1.

12. Stickel, PENCIL POINTS, vol. 15, Nov. '34, p. 556.

13. Kirkham, PENCIL POINTS, vol. 15, p. 543.
14. Swales, PENCIL POINTS, vol. 7, p. 585.

15. IBIB.


Namo,Date, Location, Source

1. Terracotta Roundel, unknown, unknown, Architectural Reviewer
vol. 1, 1897, p. 43

2. Villard Houses, 1880-'82, New York, The Architecture of Choice

3. Newport Casino, 1879-'81, Newport, R.I., Shingle Style

4. Newport Casino court, 18791'81, Newport, Shingle Style

5. Newport Casino parch, "

6. Office of Gilbert and Taylor, unknown, St. Paul, Pencil
Points vol. 15, p.545

7. Endicott Building, unknown, St. Paul, Architectural Reviewer
vol. 1, 1897, p. 45

8. Entrance 'ndicott Bldg., unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer
vol. 1, 1897, p. 44

9. Balcony Endicott Bldg., unknown, St. Paul, Arc4. Reviewer
vol. 1, 1897
10. Gotzian & Co. unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer, vol. 1,

11. Northern Pacific RR Bldg., unknown, Arch. Reviewer, Vol 1,

12. T.L. Blood & Co., unknown, Arch. Reviewer, vol. 1, 1897

13. Western Supply & Co., unknown, Arch Reviewer, vol. 1, 1897

14. Study for a Bldg., unknown, St. Paul, American Architect

15. Presbyterian Church, unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer, vol. 1

16. St. Clement's Memorial Church, unknown, St. Paul, Arch.
Reviewer, vol. 1, 1897

17. Antwerp Cathedral, unknown, Antwerp, Holland, Pencil Points,
vol. 7, Oct 1926, p. 588

18. Swedenborgen Church, unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer, vol. 1,

19. Swendeborgen Church, Unknown, St. Paul, Pencil Points,
vol. 7, Oct 1926, p. 598

20. Bethlehem Church, unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer, vol. 1,

21. Rear view Bethlehem Church, unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer,
Vol. 1, 1897

22. Cottage at White Bear Lake, unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer,
vol. 1. 1897

23. Residence, Unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer, vol. 1, 1897

24. Residnce John W. White, unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer,
vol. 1, 1897

25. Residence Geo. C. Squires, unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer,
Vol. 1, 1897

26. Residence, unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer, vol. 1, 1897

27. Residence W.H. Lightner, unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer,
vol. 1, 1897

28. Residence, unknown, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer, vol. 1, 1897

29. Study of Minn. C apitol, 1896, St. Paul, Pencil Points, vol. 15
Nov '34, p. 543

30. Rendering Minn. Capitol, 1896, St. Paul, Arch. Reviewer, vol. 1,

31. Rendering Montana Capitol, 1896, Unknown, Arch. Reviewer, vol. 1

32. Study of Plan and Dome of Minn. Capitol, 1896-'03, St. Paul,
Pencil Points, vol 15, Nov '34

33. Study of Dome of W. Va. Capitol, 1926-'31, Charleston,
Pencil Points, vol. 15, Nov '34

34. W. VA. Capitol, 1926-'31, Charleston, Pencil Points, vol. 15
Nov, '34, p. 555

35. Carre & Hastings U.S. Customshouse 1899, N.Y., Architecture,
vol. 16, Oct 1907

36. U.S. Customshouse plan, 18992'06, N.Y., Arch. Review, vol. 7,
1900, pl 24

37. Ditto

38. U.S. Customshouse exterior, 1899-'06, N.Y., American Architect,
vol. 89, Mar "06, p. 115

39. U.S. Cutomshouse exterior, 1899-'06, N.Y., Architecture, vol 16,
Oct '07, pl. 82-90
40. U.S. Customshouse entrance, ditto

41. Plan for Expanding U.S. Customshouse, 1928, N.Y., Pencil Points,
vol. 15, Nov '34
42. American Ins. Bldg., 1905, New Haven, American Architect,
vol. 88, Dec. 22, 1905, p. 207

43. Study for the New Haven RR Station, 1909, Ameridan Architect,
vol. 95, P. 43

44. Union Club, 1901, N.Y., Pencil Points, Vol. 15, Nov '34, p. 551

45. Festival Hall, 1904, St. Louis, Architectural Record
46. American Architect, vol. 85,
Aug '04, p. 71
47. Elevation of Art Bldg., 1904, St. Louis, Arch. Review, vol. 9,
July, '02

48. Entrance Art Bldg, 1904, St. Louis, Ditto

49. Plan Art Bldg., Ditto

50. Section of Art Bldg., Ditto

51. Newark Memorial Building, 1916, Newark, N.J., American Architect,
vol. 110, Oct 11, 1916

52. Plan Newark Memorial Bldg., Ditto

53. Essex County Courthouse, 1903, Newark, Architecture, vol. 16,
pl. 62

54. Suffblk Savings Bank, 1910, Boston, American Architect, vol 89,
Jun, 16, 1906, p. 204

55. Suffolk Savings Bank, 1910, Boston, Arch. Record, vol. 25,
Jan 1909

56. First Division Monument, 1924, Washington, American Architect,
vol 126, Dec 3, 1924

57. Memorial Flagpole Base, 1890's, St. Paul, Architectural Record,
vol. 47, Feb 1920, p. 121

58. Pelham Sataion, unknown, Pelham,N.'Y., Pencil Points, Vol 15,
Nov '34, p. 551

59. Academy of Arts and Letters, 1928, N.Y., Pencil Points, vol. 15,
Nov '34

60. U.S. Legation, 1928, Ottawa, Canada, Pencil Points, vol. 15,
Nov '34

61. Federal Reserve Bank, 1919, N.Y., American Architect, vol. 116,

62. Administration Bldg, Oberlin College, 1919, Oberlin, Ohio,
Architectural Record, vol. 46, Sept 1919, p. 271-272
63. Art Bldg. at Oberlin, 1915, Oberlin, American Architect, vol. 108,
Oct 1915
64. Art Bldg, Oberlin, 1915, Oberlin, College Architecture in America

65. Allen Hosp., Oberlin College, 1910's, Oberlin, College Arch.
in America

66. Studies for a Tower at Overlin, 1916, Oberlin, Pencil Points,
vol. 15, Nov '34

67. Ditto
68. Auditorium at Oberlin, 1929, Oberlin, Pencil Points, vol. 15,
Nov '34

69. Finney Memorial Coapel at Oberlin, 1907, Oberlin, American
Architect, vol. 92, Oct 5, 1907

70. Elevation Finney Chapel, 1907, Oberlin, Pencil Points, vol. 15,
Nov '34

71. Sutton Hall, U. Texas, 1931, Austin, Texas, U.T. Cactus
72. Battel Hall, U. Texas 1916. Austin, Texas, Austin, Texas:
An American Architectural History

73. Detail of Battle Hall, 1916, Austin, U.T. cactus, 1974
74. Ditto

75. Plan for U. of Minnesota, 1908, unknown, College Architecture
in America

76. Public Library, 1915, Beverly, Mass., American Architect,
vol. 108

77. Public Library, 1911, New Haven, American Architect, vol. 100

78. Public Library, 1914, Detroit, Pencil Points, vol. 15, Nov '34

79. 1908, St. Louis, American Architect, vol 101
80. "

81. School for Industrial Arts, 1915, Trenton, American Architect,
vol. 108

82. Kinney Bldg., 1913, Newark, American Architect, vol. 104

83. Broadway Chambers, 1899, NY., Pencil Points, vol. 15, Nov '34

84. Study of West Street Bldg., 1905, N.Y., Pencil Points, vol. 15,
Nov '34

85. West St. Bldg., 1905, N.Y., Architecture, vol 15,

86. Arch. Revew, vol. 22, p. 102

87. Woolworth Bldg., 1911-'13, N.Y., Pencil Points, vol 15, Nov '34

88. Woolworth Bldg., Masterpieces of American

89. Woolworth Bldg., Ditto

90. Woolworth Bldg. front, Ditto

91. Woolworth Bldg. tower, Ditto

92. Woolworth Bldg closeup, Ditto

93. Woolworth Bldg. buttresses,-cDitto
94. Top of Bittresses, 4i-tto

95. Study of N.Y. Life Ins. Bldg., 1928, N.Y. American Architect,
vol. 128, Dec 20, 1925, p. 525

96. N.Y. Life, 1928, N.Y., American Architect, vol. 135, Nar 20, 2929
p. 351-414

97. Tower of N.Y. Life, Ditto

98. Mouldings of N.Y. Life, Ditto

99. Hudson River Bridge, 1927, N.Y., American Architect, vol 131
Feb 5, 1927, p. 169

100. Kill Van Kull Bridge, 1932, N.Y., Arch. Record, vol. 72, p. 361

101. U.S. Army Base, 1918-'19, Brooklyn, Pencil Points, vol. 15
Nov '34

102. Waterbury National Bank, 1922, Waterbury, Conn., Pencil Points,
vol. 15, Nov '34

1Q3. Chase Bldg., 1919, Watebury, Pencil Points, vol. 15, Nov '34
104. Waterbury Club sketch, Ditto

105. Waterbury Club, Ditto
106. U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, 1919-'25, Washington D.C.,
American Architect, vol. 116, Dec 31, 1919, p. 811

107. U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Treasury Annex, 1918-'25 & '19,
Washington D.C., Pencil Points, vol. 15, Nov '34

108. Supreme Court, 1931-'35, Washington, Pencil Points, vol. 15

109. Study of Supreme Court, 1931-'35, Washington, Architecture,
vol. 72, 1935

110. Plan of Supreme Court, Ditto

111. Elevation of Supreme Court, Ditto

112. Competition Drawing for Federal Courthouse, 1936, N.Y.,
Pencil Points, vol. 7, Oct 1926

113. U.S. Courthouse, 1936, New York, Architecture of Choice

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