George B. Post
George Browne Post
|6th President of the American Institute of Architects|
|Preceded by||Daniel H. Burnham|
|Succeeded by||Henry Van Brunt|
|Born||December 15, 1837|
Manhattan, New York
|Died||November 28, 1913 (aged 75)|
Bernardsville, New Jersey
Alice Matilda Stone
|Parents||Joel Browne Post|
Abby Mauran Church
|Alma mater||New York University|
George Browne Post (December 15, 1837 – November 28, 1913) was an American architect trained in the Beaux-Arts tradition. He was recognized as a master of modern American architecture as well as being instrumental in the birth of the skyscraper.
Many of his most characteristic projects were for commercial buildings where new requirements pushed the traditional boundaries of design. Many of the buildings he designed have 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 regarded as landmarks of their era. He was active from 1869 almost until his death in 1913. His sons, who had been taken into the firm in 1904, continued as George B. Post and Sons through 1930. 
Early life & education
Post was born on December 15, 1837 in Manhattan, New York, to Joel Browne Post and Abby Mauran Church. After graduating from New York University in 1858 with a degree in civil engineering, Post 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.
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 sculptor Karl Bitter and painter Elihu Vedder. Post was a founding member of the National Arts Club, serving as the Club's inaugural 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. From that time forward, the firm carried on under the stewardship of Post's grandson, Edward Everett Post (1904–2006)  until the late twentieth century.
Sarah 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.
The Cornelius Vanderbilt II House, which Post designed in partnership with Richard Morris Hunt, was an English Jacobethan Gothic red-brick and limestone chateau that stood at the corner of East 57th Street and Fifth Avenue and was one of the most opulent single-family homes of its time. It featured a lavishly scrolled cast-iron gate forged in Paris (now in Central Park), sculptural reliefs by Karl Bitter (now in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel), an ornate reddish-brown marble fireplace sculpted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art), and elaborate interior decoration by Frederick Kaldenberg, John LaFarge, Philip Martiny, Frederick W. MacMonnies, Rene de Quelin, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his brother Julius. The mansion was razed in 1927 for the construction of the Bergdorf Goodman Building at 754 Fifth Avenue. The mansion was photographed by Albert Levy while being built.
Post also designed the palazzo across the street that faced the Vanderbilt Mansion for Collis P. Huntington (1889–94). In Newport, Rhode Island he built a home 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.
Post also designed many of the gilded-age mansions found in Bernardsville, NJ and was credited more than anyone with selling wealthy New Yorkers on the idea of establishing a country home in the Somerset Hills. He designed Kenilwood—a grand home built in 1896-1897 as a wedding gift for his daughter—now recognized as one of the two most important examples of Gothic Revival architecture in America. Kenilwood remained in the Post family until it was purchased by Mike Tyson in 1988.
In 1894, Post, along with J. Herbert Ballantine, Robert L. Stevens, and Edward T. H. Talmadge each pledged $8,000 to purchase land in Bernardsville, NJ to establish the Somerset Hills Country Club, which, after being built on the banks of Ravine Lake was relocated in 1917 to its present site and includes a golf course designed by A.W. Tillinghast.
Many of Post's design's were landmarks of the era. Post's Equitable Life Building (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 (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.
Post married Alice Matilda Stone (1840-1909) on October 14, 1863. Together, they had five children: George Browne, Jr., William Stone, Allison Wright, James Otis and Alice Winifred.
Partial list of works
- Kenilwood, Bernardsville, NJ. One of the two most important examples of Gothic Revival architecture in the United States.
- High Bridge Reformed Church, High Bridge, New Jersey, 1869
- Equitable Life Building (New York City), 1868-1870, razed 1912.
- Bonner-Marquand Gymnasium, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, 1869–1870, razed in 1907.
- Williamsburgh Savings Bank, Brooklyn, New York, 1870-1875
- Troy Savings Bank, Troy, New York, 1875.
- Western Union Telegraph Building, New York City, 1875. Often dubbed "the first skyscraper in New York City, this 10-story headquarters for Western Union featured a clock tower. The building was razed in 1914 for the AT&T headquarters at 195 Broadway.
- Claremont, Bernardsville, NJ, 1907. George Post's home in the Somerset Hills. For sale as of October, 2020 for $10 million dollars.
- Chickering Hall, New York City, c.1877. Built as the headquarters of the Chickering Piano Company, this four-story building faced in brick with brownstone and gray marble trim featured a 1,450-seat auditorium that hosted lectures by Thomas H. Huxley and Oscar Wilde and was the site of Alexander Graham Bell's first interstate telephone call to New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1877. Razed.
- New York Hospital (razed), 1877, notable for its use of large ground-level windows for better natural illumination of the interior.
- Library and Lyceum, Morristown, New Jersey. 1878, Razed.
- Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, New York, 1878–1880, Romanesque revival building employing architectural terracotta, originally named Long Island Historical Society.
- Post Building, New York City, 1880-81. A deep central recess provided light and air to the interiors, a feature that quickly became standard for large commercial structures.
- 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. Razed.
- New York Produce Exchange (1881–84) at 2 Broadway faced Bowling Green. Built 1881-1885; Razed 1958.
- Cornelius Vanderbilt Mansion, New York City, 1882, renovated and enlarged 1893, Razed 1927.
- New York Cotton Exchange (razed), New York City, 1883–1885
- Mortimer Building (razed), New York City, 1885
- New York World Building, or Pulitzer Building, New York City, at the time of its completion the tallest building in the world, 1889-1890, Razed.
- New York Times Building (41 Park Row), New York City, 1888–89
- Union Trust Building (razed), 78-82 Broadway, New York City, 1889–1890
- Prudential Headquarters (4 buildings), Newark, New Jersey, 1892-1911. Razed 1956.
- Manufacturer's and Liberal Arts Building, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, 1893. Razed after the exposition concluded.
- Erie County Savings Bank building, Buffalo, New York, 1893, in Romanesque Revival. Razed in 1968.
- Park Building, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1896, remodeled in the 1960s
- Bronx Borough Hall, New York City, 1897, Razed.
- St. Paul Building, New York City, 1898. Razed.
- New York Stock Exchange Building, 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.
- Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company, Newark, New Jersey, 1904-08 (razed)
- Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison, Wisconsin, 1906
- Cleveland Trust Company Building, Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, 1908
- Pontiac Hotel, Oswego, New York, 1912
- "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. November 29, 1913.
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 ...
- Syracuse Then And Now.
- "George B.Post and Sons". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western University. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
- "George B. Post". Retrieved August 22, 2014.
An architect, died November 28, 1913, at his summer home in Bernardsville, New Jersey. He was born December 15, 1837 in New York City. ...
- Schleicher, William A.; Winter, Susan J. (1997). Images of America: In The Somerset Hills, The Landed Gentry. Dover, New Hampshire: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 8, 10, 11. ISBN 0-7524-0899-2.
- Landau, Sarah Bradford (1998). George B. Post: Picturesque Designer and Determined Realist. New York, NY.: the Monacelli Press.
- "Guide to the Jennings Photograph Collection 1858-1957". The New-York Historical Society. 2003. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
- "Paid Notice: Deaths
POST, EDWARD EVERETT". New York Times. September 5, 2006. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
- Gray, Christopher (January 12, 2014). "Streetscapes: City College -The Very Model of a University". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 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. Cite journal requires
- Post's numerous other positions of honor are noted in Weisman 1972:176.
- Waldman, Benjamin. "Then & Now: Remnants of the Vanderbilt Mansion in New York City." Untapped Cities, February 1, 2012.
- Weisman 1972:176
- Somerset Hills Country Club website.
- 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.
- "Beyond The Gilded Age". Beyond The Gilded Age. 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
- "HB Reformed Church :: History". www.hbreformedchurch.org.
- "Then and Now: Five Lost Buildings by George B. Post," Weylin, July 7, 2015.
- Weisman, Winston. "The Commercial Architecture of George B. Post." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 31, No. 3 (October 1972), pp. 176–203.
- Weisman, Winston. "The Commercial Architecture of George B. Post." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 31, No. 3 (October 1972), p. 189.
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