Whitney Warren

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Whitney Warren
Warren in 1915
Born(1864-01-29)January 29, 1864
New York City, U.S.
DiedJanuary 24, 1943(1943-01-24) (aged 78)
New York City, U.S.
Alma materColumbia University
École des Beaux-Arts
(m. 1884)
PracticeWarren and Wetmore
BuildingsNew York Yacht Club Building, Grand Central Terminal, Biltmore Hotel, Catholic University of Leuven Library

Whitney Warren (January 29, 1864 – January 24, 1943)[1] was an American Beaux-Arts architect who founded, with Charles Delevan Wetmore, Warren and Wetmore in New York City, one of the most prolific and successful architectural practices in the US.

Early life[edit]

Warren was born in New York City on January 29, 1864. He was one of nine children born to George Henry Warren I (1823–1892) and Mary Caroline (née Phoenix) Warren (1832–1901).[2] His siblings included Lloyd Warren, who was also an architect,[3] and George Henry Warren II,[4] a stockbroker who was the father of Constance Whitney Warren.[5] He was a cousin of the Goelets[a] and Vanderbilts[b] and the grandson of U.S. Representative Jonas Phillips Phoenix.[7][c]

In 1883, he enrolled at Columbia University to study architecture, but only stayed for one year.[9] He was shown on official Columbia University records as a member of the class of 1885 of the School of Mines, Columbia University.[10][11] From 1884 until 1894, Warren spent ten years at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. There he studied under Honoré Daumet and Charles Girault,[12] and met fellow architecture student Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, who would, in 1897, join the Warren and Wetmore firm.[13]


The Catholic University of Leuven Library designed by Warren and built from 1921–1928.

Warren returned to New York in 1894, and began practicing as an architect.[13] One of his first clients was the lawyer Charles Delevan Wetmore. After their successful collaboration, Warren convinced Wetmore to become his partner and they organized Warren and Wetmore with Warren as the architect and Wetmore responsible for the business side of the firm.[14]

During World War I, Warren was involved in organizing the Comité des Étudiants Américains de l'École des Beaux-Arts Paris; a student-run charity in support of the French cause. He also supported actively the claims of Italy in the Adriatic, during and after the war. He was an intimate friend of Gabriele d'Annunzio, and was appointed diplomatic representative in the United States of the "Free State of Fiume". He was the author of Les Justes Revendications de l'Italie: la Question de Trente, de Trieste et de l'Adriatique. Many of his addresses, delivered 1914-1919, were published and widely distributed.[12]

Warren retired in 1931, but occasionally served as consultant. Warren took particular pride in his design of the new library building of the Catholic University of Leuven, which was finished in 1928. The library was severely damaged by British and German forces during World War II, but was completely restored after the war.[14]

Two of the firm's major works were the construction of Grand Central Terminal and of the Biltmore Hotel, both in New York City.[13]

Personal life[edit]

In 1884, Warren was married to Charlotte Augusta Tooker (1864–1951)[15] in Newport, Rhode Island.[16] Charlotte was the eldest daughter of Gabriel Mead Tooker, a prominent New York lawyer and member of Mrs. Astor's famous "Four Hundred".[16] She was also the cousin of Col. Clermont Livingston Best's daughter, Annie Livingston Tooker Best, wife of Elizur Yale Smith, the son of Wellington Smith, members of the Yale family.[17][18][19][20] Together, they are the parents of:[21]

  • Charlotte Augusta Warren (1885–1957), who married William Greenough in 1907.[6]
  • Gabrielle Warren (1895–1971),[22] who married Reginald Bulkeley Rives (1890–1957),[23] a nephew of George Rives and Edward Bulkeley,[24] in 1917.[25]
  • Whitney Warren Jr. (1898–1986),[26][27] who was a horticulturalist and patron of the arts.[28][29] Warren Jr. was referred to as "an overly rich bachelor operating in San Francisco"[27] who traveled around the world.[30]

In 1927, Warren and his brother George each inherited $2,314,143 from the estate of their uncle, Lloyd Phoenix.[1]

Warren died after a nine-week illness on January 24, 1943, at New York Hospital in New York City.[1] At the time of his death, Warren resided at 280 Park Avenue in New York City and was a member of the Knickerbocker Club, the Racquet and Tennis Club, and the Church and South Side Sportsmen's Clubs.[1] After a service at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, he was buried at Island Cemetery in Newport.[31] His widow died in 1951 and was buried alongside him in Newport.[15]


In 1917, Warren received the Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architects for the firm's work.

Works by Warren are found in the collection of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.[32]



  1. ^ His sister Harriette Louise Warren (1854-1912) was married to Robert Goelet and was the mother of Robert Walton Goelet (1880–1941).[6]
  2. ^ His relative, Lucy Warren (1853–1894), was married to Benjamin Kissam (1818–1891), the brother of Maria (née Kissam) Vanderbilt (1821–1896), wife of William Henry Vanderbilt.
  3. ^ Warren's paternal grandfather Nathan Warren (1777–1834) was the brother of Stephan Warren (1783–1847), father of Joseph M. Warren (1813–1896), a U.S. Representative from New York.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d "WHITNEY WARREN, ARCHITECT, 78, DIES; Designer of the Grand Central Terminal and Rebuilding of Louvain Library, Belgium HAD PRACTICAL APPROACH Specialized With His Partner, C. D. Wetrnore. in Railroad Structures, Hotels, Offices". The New York Times. January 25, 1943. p. 13. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  2. ^ "George Henry Warren" (PDF). New York Times. April 9, 1892. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  3. ^ "Sleep-Walk Plunge Kills Lloyd Warren; Famous Architect Falls From His Sixth-Floor Apartment in Early Morning. Suicide Theory Discarded. Victim Had Suffered From Somnambulism. Created BeauxArts Institute". New York Times. October 26, 1922. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  4. ^ Weeks, Lyman Horace (1898). Prominent Families of New York: Being an Account in Biographical Form of Individuals and Families Distinguished as Representatives of the Social, Professional and Civic Life of New York City. Historical Company. p. 604. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  5. ^ "George H. Warren ... A Founder of Concern That Once Owned Metropolitan Opera's Home, Dies at 87. Kin Of Noted Architect. Graduate of Columbia and Its Law School, but Never Had Practiced. Formerly Broker". New York Times. June 4, 1943. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  6. ^ a b "MISS WARREN A BRIDE. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Whitney Warren Weds William Greenough" (PDF). The New York Times. December 27, 1907. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  7. ^ "PHOENIX, Jonas Phillips - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  8. ^ Genealogies of the State of New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. 1915. p. 357. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Warren and Wetmore: Architects of the Vanderbilt". www.vanderbiltmuseum.org. Vanderbilt Museum. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  10. ^ University, Columbia (1881). Annual Register of Officers and Students.
  11. ^ Columbia Spectator. Spectator Publishing Company. 1881.
  12. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Warren, Whitney" . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Company.
  13. ^ a b c "Warren, Whitney, 1864-1943. Whitney Warren papers, 1914-1926: Guide". oasis.lib.harvard.edu. Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Warren & Wetmore architectural drawings and photographs, 1889-1938". www.columbia.edu. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  15. ^ a b "MRS. WARREN DIES; ARCHITECT'S WIDOW; Leader in French Relief Work During First World War-- Set Up Secours National" (PDF). The New York Times. September 13, 1951. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  17. ^ Papa Bear’s second wife, Baby Best's Long Quest of a Perfect Man, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 02 Aug 1925, p. 87
  18. ^ Separation of Elizur Yale Smith & Annie Best, The Washington Post Washington, District of Columbia, 08 May 1908, p. 12
  19. ^ Nicholls, Charles Wilbur de Lyon (1904). The Ultra-fashionable Peerage of America: An Official List of Those People who Can Properly be Called Ultra-fashionable in the United States. G. Harjes. p. 54. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  20. ^ Mrs. Vladimir Behr, A Society Figure, 78, The New York Times, 6 July, 1964
  21. ^ Boughton, James (1890). Bouton--Boughton Family: Descendants of John Boution, a Native of France, who Embarked from Gravesend, Eng., and Landed at Boston in December, 1635, and Settled at Norwalk, Ct. J. Munsell's Sons. p. 15. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Obituary 1 -- No Title". The New York Times. July 31, 1971. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  23. ^ "GUEST ON YACHT KILLED BY MAST; Reginald Rives of Newport Was a Retired Air Officer and Stock Broker Here Retired Stock Broker" (PDF). The New York Times. July 1, 1957. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  24. ^ Princeton Alumni Weekly. Princeton Alumni Weekly. 1957. p. 33. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  25. ^ "REGINALD B. RIVES WEDS MISS WARREN Younger Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Whitney Warren a Bride in St. Thomas's Chapel. CEREMONY AMID ROSES Many Prominent in Society Among the Guests -Reception Held In Ballroom of the Ritz" (PDF). The New York Times. February 4, 1917. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  26. ^ "Philanthropist Whitney Warren dies at age 88". Santa Cruz Sentinel. 13 Jan 1986. p. 12. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  27. ^ a b Beaton, Cecil (2007). The Unexpurgated Beaton: The Cecil Beaton Diaries as He Wrote Them, 1970-1980. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 421. ISBN 9780307429520. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  28. ^ Miller, Paul (2010). Lost Newport: Vanished Cottages of the Resort Era. Applewood Books. p. 64. ISBN 9781429091121. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  29. ^ Hanks, Tara (March 3, 2016). Born On This Day: Whitney Warren Jr. 1898-1986. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  30. ^ "WHITNEY WARREN JR. SAILS.; Leaves for 35,000-Mile Tour, Which Will Include South Seas". The New York Times. January 9, 1924. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  31. ^ "LEADING ARCHITECTS AT WARREN FUNERAL; Rites for Noted Designer Are Held in St. Thomas Church" (PDF). The New York Times. January 27, 1943. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  32. ^ Whitney Warren | People | Collection of Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

External links[edit]