Ernest Flagg

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Ernest Flagg
Ernest Flagg 1911.jpg
Born (1857-02-06)February 6, 1857
Brooklyn, New York
Died April 10, 1947(1947-04-10) (aged 90)
New York City
Nationality American
Alma mater École des Beaux-Arts
Spouse(s) Margaret E. Bonnell (m. 1899)
Children Betsey Flagg Melcher
Buildings Scribner Building
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Singer Building
Charles Scribner's Sons Building
Projects United States Naval Academy
Sheldon Library, 1901
Lawrence Library, 1901

Ernest Flagg (February 6, 1857 – April 10, 1947) was a noted American architect in the Beaux-Arts style. He was also an advocate for urban reform and architecture's social responsibility.[1]

Biography[edit]

Flagg was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father Jared Bradley Flagg was an Episcopal priest and a notable painter.[2][3] Ernest left school at 15 to work as an office boy on Wall Street. After working with his father and brothers in real estate for a few years, he designed duplex apartment plans in 1880 with the architect Philip Gengembre Hubert, for the co-operative apartment buildings Hubert was known for.

Cornelius Vanderbilt II, Flagg's cousin through his marriage to Alice Claypoole Gwynne,[4][unreliable source] was impressed by Flagg's work and sent him to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1889–1891, under his patronage. In 1891, Flagg began his architectural practice in New York, greatly influenced by his knowledge of the French ideas of architectural design, such as structural rationalism.

During this time he joined with John Prentiss Benson to create Flagg & Benson, which later became Flagg, Benson & Brockway with the addition of Albert Leverett Brockway. FB&B designed St. Luke's Hospital in New York City.[5]

In 1894, he established the architectural firm of Flagg & Chambers with Walter B. Chambers, whom he met in Paris. Usually, Flagg alone credited for some of the work he and Chambers worked on together, such as the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

His contributions to zoning and height regulations were essential to New York's first laws governing this aspect of the city's architecture. Flagg argued in favor of zoning laws which would regulate the height and setback of buildings, to allow light and air to reach the streets below them.[6] He was a president of the New York Society of Beaux-Arts Architects. A small collection of Flagg's personal and professional papers is held in the Department of Drawings & Archives at Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University.

Ernest Flagg married Margaret E. Bonnell on June 27, 1899 in New York City. They had one daughter, Betsey Flagg, who married John Melcher[7][unreliable source] and become a well-respected small-scale portrait painter.[8]

In 1912, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Flagg were on their way to a party held by Stowe Phelps, a fellow architect, when their limousine struck and killed a boy (James McNamara) who had suddenly skated in front of the car. The couple drove the boy to the hospital but he died en route.[9]

Projects[edit]

Selected writings[edit]

  • Small Houses: Their Economic Design and Construction (1922)
  • Le Naos du Parthenon (1928)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ernest Flagg - Beaux-Arts Architect and Urban Reformer The MIT Press
  2. ^ Flagg, Ernest. Genealogical Notes on the Founding of New England: My Ancestors Part in that Undertaking. Hartford, Conn., 1926, p. 135.
  3. ^ Flagg, Lucius C.S. Family Records of the Descendants of Gershom Flagg. Quincy, Ill., 1907, pp. 125, 128.
  4. ^ Eighth Generation Descendants of Bartholomew Flegg
  5. ^ Albert L Brockway
  6. ^ Fire Engine Co. 67 Landmarks Preservation Commission
  7. ^ Flagg Genealogy Descendants of Bartholomew Flegg - Ninth Generation.
  8. ^ Betsey Flagg Melcher Luce Foundation Center for American Art.
  9. ^ "BOY SKATER KILLED BY DINERS' AUTO; Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Flagg's Car Runs Down Lad at Stowe Phelps's Door." New York Times, February 24, 1912.
  10. ^ White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran, AIA Guide to New York City, Oxford University Press, 2010. Cf. p.358.
  11. ^ "STREETSCAPES: A Skating Rink/Boxing Ring, And a Wild and Crazy Facade", The New York Times, February 6, 2005
  12. ^ "Bulging Buildings: Cantilevers Make a Comeback". New York Sun. July 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-25. "In 1908, Ernest Flagg designed one of Lower Manhattan's most distinctive skyscrapers for the Singer Manufacturing Company, at Broadway and Liberty Street ..." 
  13. ^ Vinegar Hill Historic District (105-055-77001-77061). City of Bloomington: Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission, n.d. Accessed 2011-01-27.
  14. ^ Plunz, Richard. A History of Housing in New York City. Columbia University Press, New York: 1990. P. 213-214.

Further reading[edit]

  • Flagg, Ernest - Genealogical Notes of the Founding of New England: My Ancestors Part in that Undertaking Lockwood & Brainard Co. (1926) ISBN 0-8063-0533-9
  • Mardges Bacon, Ernest Flagg: Beaux-Arts Architect and Urban Reformer, MIT Press (1986)
  • Paul Malo, "Boldt Castle", Laurentian Press (2001)
  • Paul Malo, "Fools' Paradise", Laurentian Press (2003)

External links[edit]