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McKim, Mead & White

McKim, Mead & White (American architectural firm, 1879-1910)

Charles McKim (1847-1909), William Rutherford Mead (1846-1928), and Stanford White (1853-1906) established their architectural firm in New York City in 1879. Generally defined as “classicists,” the architects drew inspiration from European designs with an emphasis on surface patterns and textures. McKim, Mead & White supported the City Beautiful Movement, and many of their designs incorporated outdoor spaces and urban planning concepts. The firm received commissions for residential, institutional, industrial, and commercial construction. Their iconic buildings included the New York Public Library, the Walker Art Gallery, and the original Penn Station and Madison Square Garden in New York.

McKim, Mead & White took over renovations at Dumbarton Oaks in 1923. Dissatisfied with their previous architect, Robert and Mildred Bliss hired the New York-based firm to carry out a number of projects on the property. Lawrence Grant White, son of founding member Stanford White, took the job. The firm’s location in New York made it easy for White to collaborate with Dumbarton Oaks’ landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand. Together, they planned harmonious architectural and landscape details for the Music Room, Pool House, Loggia, Service Court, and Superintendent’s Cottage.



Carder, James N., Editor. A Home of the Humanities: The Collecting and Patronage of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2010.

A Monograph of the Works of McKim, Mead & White, 1879-1915. With an essay by Leland Roth. (1915; repr., New York: Benjamin Blom, Inc., 1973).

Karson, Robin S. A Genius for Place: American Landscapes of the Country Place Era. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007.

Tamulevich, Susan. Dumbarton Oaks: Garden Into Art. New York: The Monacelli Press, 2001.

Whitehill, Walter M. Dumbarton Oaks: The History of a Georgetown House and Garden, 1800-1966. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1967.