Montgomery Schuyler

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Montgomery Schuyler, AIA, (August 19, 1843, Ithaca, NY – July 7, 1914, New Rochelle, NY) was a highly influential critic, journalist and editorial writer in New York City who wrote about and influenced art, literature, music and architecture during the city's "Gilded Age." He was active as a journalist for over forty years but is principally noted as a highly influential architecture critic, and advocate of modern designs and defender of the skyscraper.[1]

Early life[edit]

Schuyler was born in Ithaca, New York, the son of Eleanor Johnson and the Rev. Anthony Schuyler, one time rector of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Orange, New Jersey. The Schuylers were one of the oldest families in New York, descendants of Philip Pieterse Schuyler, who settled in Beverwyck (now Albany, New York) in 1650.

Schuyler entered Hobart College in 1858 but failed to graduate. He became a member of the Sigma Phi Society.

He married Katherine Beekman Livingston in 1876. Their families were previously connected as Schuyler's great x7 aunt had married Katherine's ancestor, Robert Livingston, first Lord of the manor of Livingston (also ancestor of both Presidents Bush and Eleanor Roosevelt) in Albany in 1679.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Schuyler arrived in New York in 1865, at the end of the American Civil War, and worked as an editorial writer on The World, leaving to join the editorial staff of the New York Times in 1883. He was an editorial writer for the New York Times for twenty-four years. In addition, "he was managing editor of Harper's Weekly from 1885–1887, and was connected with the publishing department of Harper & Bros. from 1887 to 1894, serving both in an editorial capacity and as a writer. In the last few years Mr. Schuyler had been a contributor to The Sun, and also wrote for many magazines and periodicals, particularly on the subject of architecture, in which he specialized. The modern skyscraper had a staunch advocate in Mr. Schuyler, who believed that it was a legitimate architectural expression of our times."[1]

He was a member of the American Institute of Architects, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Century Club.[1]

Later life[edit]

He retired from the New York Times in 1907 and moved to New Rochelle, New York, "taking an active interest in local affairs, acting in an advisory capacity on questions of beautifying the city and the artistic and harmonious architectural development of the town."[1]

He died of pneumonia at his home at 250 Winyah Avenue, New Rochelle, New York, and was survived by his two sons, Montgomery Schuyler, Jr. and Robert Livingston Schuyler, and his sister.[1]


  • "It so happens that the work which is likely to be our most durable monument, and to convey some knowledge of us to the most remote posterity, is a work of bare utility; not a shrine, not a fortress, not a palace, but a bridge." Writing upon the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, New York.[2]
  • His quotes on American bridges

Published works[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f [1]|"OLD MEMBER OF TIMES STAFF DEAD; Montgomery Schuyler, Editorial Writer for 24 Years, Succumbs of Pneumonia." New York Times. July 17, 1914.
  2. ^ [2]| Excerpted from Montgomery Schuyler. "The Bridge as a Monument," Harper's Weekly (26 May 1883), 27, 326. Quoted in David P. Billington, The Tower and the Bridge: The New Art of Structural Engineering (1983), p.17

External links[edit]