Montgomery Schuyler

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Montgomery Schuyler
Born (1843-08-19)August 19, 1843
Ithaca, New York, U.S.
Died July 16, 1914(1914-07-16) (aged 70)
New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Hobart College
Occupation Writer, critic
Employer The New York Times, Harper's Weekly, The Sun
Spouse(s) Katherine Beeckman Livingston
(m. 1876; her death 1914)
Children Montgomery Schuyler Jr.
Robert Livingston Schuyler
Parent(s) Rev. Anthony Schuyler
Eleanor Johnson

Montgomery Schuyler AIA, (August 19, 1843, Ithaca, NY – July 16, 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 on August 19, 1843. He was the son of Eleanor (née Johnson) Schuyler (1818–1849) and the Rev. Dr. Anthony Schuyler (1816–1900), one time rector of the Protestant Episcopal Church Grace Church in Orange, New Jersey,[2] which is now known as the Church of the Epiphany. His siblings included Eleanor Schuyler (d. 1850), Ben Johnson Schuyler (d. 1854), Charles Brother Schuyler (1841–1929).[2] After his mother's death, his father remarried to Mary Hall Allen in 1860, with whom his father had another daughter and two sons, Montgomery's half-siblings, Rev. Hamilton Schuyler and Anthony Schuyler, Jr.[2]

His paternal grandparents were Alborn Schuyler (b. 1788) and Caroline (née Butler) Schuyler.[3] 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, through his son Arent Schuyler (1662–1730) and his son Casparus Schuyler (1695–1754). His maternal grandparents were Ben Johnson (1783–1848) and Jane (née Dey) Johnson (1798–1881).[3]

Schuyler entered Hobart College in 1858 but failed to graduate. He became a member of the Sigma Phi Society.[1]

Professional career[edit]

In 1865, at the end of the American Civil War, Schuyler came to New York and worked as an editorial writer on The World before leaving to join the editorial staff of The New York Times in 1883. He worked as an editorial writer for The New York Times for twenty-four years.[1] During his time at The Times, he wrote many articles, including articles about the architecture of Washington D.C.,[4] about the 3,000 miles between New York and California,[5] about the work of William Wordsworth,[6] the work of Russell Sturgis,[7] and the work of Henry James.[8]

In the 1870s, Schuyler supported Frederick Law Olmsted, a friend, H. H. Richardson, whom he admired,[9] and Leopold Eidlitz in the controversy surrounding the completion of the New York State Capitol buildings.[10] In 1882, Schuyler, who lived at the end of East 84th Street in Manhattan, proposed building a residential development project between East 81st Street and East 84th Street, along the East River just south of the East River Park (now known as the Carl Schurz Park).[10] In 1883, Schuyler wrote upon the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York:[11]

"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."[11]

From 1885–1887, he was managing editor of Harper's Weekly,[12] and from 1887 to 1894, was connected with the publishing department of Harper & Bros., serving both in an editorial capacity and as a writer. In the last few years of his career, Schuyler was a contributor to The Sun, and also wrote for many magazines and periodicals, particularly on the subject of architecture, in which he specialized. He was a staunch advocate of the modern skyscraper, who believed that it was "a legitimate architectural expression of our times."[1]

In 1892, he published his seminal work, American Architecture Studies[13] published by Harper & Brothers Publishers.[14] In the book, similarly to Louis Sullivan's feelings in his 1892 book, Ornament in Architecture, he stated: "If you were to scrape down to the face of the main wall of the buildings of these streets, you would find that you had simply removed all the architecture, and that you had left the buildings as good as ever."[13]

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]

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

Personal life[edit]

In 1876, he married Katherine Beeckman Livingston (1842–1914). Their families were previously connected as Schuyler's seven times great-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] Together, Montgomery and Katherine were the parents of:

Schuyler's wife died on July 7, 1914. Schuyler died of pneumonia shortly thereafter at his home at 250 Winyah Avenue, New Rochelle, New York on July 16, 1914.[1] He was buried alongside his wife at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Published works[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "OLD MEMBER OF TIMES STAFF DEAD; Montgomery Schuyler, Editorial Writer for 24 Years, Succumbs of Pneumonia". The New York Times. July 17, 1914. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c "DEATH LIST OF A DAY.; Anthony Schuyler". The New York Times. 23 November 1900. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  3. ^ a b Cutter, William Richard (1913). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation ... Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 283. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  4. ^ Schuyler, Montgomery (January 19, 1902). "The Nation's New Capital". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  5. ^ Schuyler, Montgomery (4 February 1906). ""Westward the Course of Empire"; A Survey of Three Thousand Miles of Triumphant Democracy as Seen by a Passenger on the Los-Angeles Limited". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  6. ^ Schuyler, Montgomery (January 20, 1906). "WORDSWORTH.; A New Volume Containing the Poet's Prose, and Another with an English Anthology of His Selection". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  7. ^ Schuyler, Montgomery (14 September 1907). "NEW HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE; Russell Sturgis Writes the Best English Work of Its Kind and Scope -- Use of the Photograph and the Half-tone Engraving Enhances Value". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  8. ^ Schuyler, Montgomery (January 11, 1908). "HENRY JAMES DONE OVER.; Novelist Is Issuing Definitive Edition of His Work, Revised and With Interpretive Prefaces -- First Two Volumes Are Out. RECENSION OF REVOLUTIONARY SCOPE Later Mannerisms Forced Into Earlier Text to Detriment of Its Vigor. HENRY JAMES AS HIS OWN INTERPRETER. HENRY JAMES". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  9. ^ Watkin, David (2005). A History of Western Architecture. Laurence King Publishing. p. 520. ISBN 9781856694599. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  10. ^ a b Olmsted, Frederick Law (2013). The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted: The Early Boston Years, 1882–1890. JHU Press. pp. 59–60. ISBN 9781421409269. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  11. ^ a b [1]| Excerpted from Montgomery Schuyler. "The Bridge as a Monument," Harper's Weekly (May 26, 1883), 27, 326. Quoted in David P. Billington, The Tower and the Bridge: The New Art of Structural Engineering (1983), p.17
  12. ^ "Walt Whitman Archive - Walt Whitman's Correspondence - The Walt Whitman Archive". Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  13. ^ a b Pevsner, Nikolaus (1991). Pioneers of Modern Design: From William Morris to Walter Gropius. Penguin UK. p. 31. ISBN 9780141932323. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  14. ^ Schuyler, Montgomery (1892). American Architecture Studies. New York: Harper & Brothers. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  15. ^ "M. SCHUYLER; 78, AN EX-DIPLOMAT Former State Department Aide Dies -- Banker Was Russian Affairs Expert". The New York Times. 2 November 1955. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  16. ^ "TR Center - Letter from Montgomery Schuyler to Theodore Roosevelt". Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson University. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  17. ^ Kestenbaum, Lawrence. "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Schuyler". Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  18. ^ "ROBERT SCHUYLER, LONG AT COLUMBIA; Ex-History Professor Dies --Authority on Britain Colleagues His Students View of Inevitable 'Laws'". The New York Times. 16 August 1966. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 

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