George B. Post

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George Browne Post
6th President of the American Institute of Architects
In office
1896–1898
Preceded by Daniel H. Burnham
Succeeded by Henry Van Brunt
Personal details
Born (1837-12-15)December 15, 1837
Manhattan, New York
Died November 28, 1913(1913-11-28) (aged 75)
Bernardsville, New Jersey
Spouse(s) Alice Matilda Stone (m. 1863)
Parents Joel Browne Post
Abby Mauran Church
Equitable Life Assurance Building, 1868–70: the exterior cladding and decorative features suggest three to four floors, when in fact there were eight floors
New York Produce Exchange (1883)
Interior of the Cleveland Trust Rotunda in Cleveland, Ohio

George Browne Post (December 15, 1837 – November 28, 1913) was an American architect trained in the Beaux-Arts tradition.[1] 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.[2] His Western Union Telegraph Building (1872–75) at 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.

Biography[edit]

He was born on December 15, 1837 in Manhattan, New York to Joel Browne Post and Abby Mauran Church.[3]

He graduated from New York University in 1858 with a degree in civil engineering. He then became a student of 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 on October 14, 1863.

At the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois in 1893, Post was named to the architectural staff by Burnham and Root.[4]

Post served as the sixth president of the American Institute of Architects from 1896 to 1899.

He was assigned the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, which exceeded by a few feet the clear span of the Machinery Building at the Exposition Universelle of 1889.[5]

He received the AIA Gold Medal in 1911.

He died on November 28, 1913 in Bernardsville, New Jersey.[1][3]

Legacy[edit]

He also designed more staid public and semi-public structures: the New York Stock Exchange Building, Bronx Borough Hall, and the Wisconsin State Capitol. Among the prominent private houses by Post were the French chateau for 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 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 half-timbering; John La Farge provided stained glass panels.

He trained architect Arthur Bates Jennings.[6]

A true member of the American Renaissance, Post employed noted artists and artisans to produce decorative sculpture and murals. Among those who worked with him were the sculptor Karl Bitter and the painter Elihu Vedder. he was a founding member of the National Arts Club and served as its president from 1898 to 1905. In 1905 his two sons were taken into the partnership, and they continued in business after Post's death, notably as designers of many Statler Hotels in cities across the United States. The firm carried on under Post's grandson Edward Everett Post (1904–2006)[7] until the late twentieth century.[citation needed]

Post served as the sixth president of the American Institute of Architects, 1896-99[8] and received the AIA Gold Medal in 1911. His extensive archives are at the New-York Historical Society. Sarah Bradford Landau, George B. Post, Architect: Picturesque Designer and Determined Realist (1998) inspired the retrospective exhibition at the Society, 1998–99 that reassessed Post's work. On February 3, 2014, an exhibit of Post's drawings and photographs for his design of the City College of New York opens at the college's Spitzer School of Architecture.[9]

Selected works by George B. Post[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 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 ..." 
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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. ..." 
  4. ^ Weisman 1972:176
  5. ^ Post's on-site engineer E.C. Shankland of Chicago, has been over-credited in its design Winston Weisman noted in 1973.
  6. ^ "Guide to the Jennings Photograph Collection 1858-1957". The New-York Historical Society. 2003. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  7. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths
    POST, EDWARD EVERETT"
    . New York Times. 2006-09-05. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
     
  8. ^ Post's numerous other positions of honor are noted in Weisman 1972:176.
  9. ^ Gray, Christopher (12 January 2014). "Streetscapes: City College -The Very Model of a University". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to George B. Post at Wikimedia Commons