Thursday, March 7, 2024
Book Talk: Beaux-Arts Architecture in New York City
The Arsenal, 830 Fifth Avenue (at 64th St.),
Phillip Dodd will give his second talk to our group for his book, "An American Renaissance: Beaux-Arts Architecture in New York City," on Thursday, March 7.
The Gilded Age, also referred to as the American Renaissance, is an era associated with unparalleled growth, technological advancement, prosperity, and cultural change. Spanning from the 1880s to the1930s it marks the first time that the titans of American finance and industry had more wealth than their European counterparts. It was not enough for New York City's self-appointed elite to just build their own grand chateaus and palazzos along Fifth Avenue, as collectively they dreamed of creating a new metropolis to rival the great cultural capitals of London, Paris and Rome.
Enter the Beaux-Arts. This book, which has been painstakingly researched and beautifully photographed over many years, takes a close look at twenty of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in New York City. While showing public exteriors, its main focus is on the lavish interiors that are associated with the opulence of the Gilded Age—often providing a glimpse inside buildings not otherwise viewable to the public. It recounts not only the fascinating stories of some of New York’s most famous and significant Beaux-Arts landmarks, it also recalls the lives of those that commissioned, designed, and built them.
Names that—as Julian Fellowes notes in the Foreword—“still reek of money.” Just as in the Italian Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries, murals were an essential expression of Beaux-Arts architecture and the spirit of the American Renaissance. Special attention will be given to the work of Ezra Winter at the Cunard Building, murals by Henry Siddons Mowbray at the Morgan Library, and the University Club, as well as later additions by Reginald Marsh at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House.
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Phillip James Dodd is an alumnus of the Prince of Wales’ Institute of Architecture in London. He moved to America more than 20 years ago, and after training with some of the most recognized classical architecture firms in the country founded his eponymous design firm Phillip James Dodd: Bespoke Residential Design LLC in 2015. Phillip’s designs can be found in New York, Greenwich, Palm Beach, and as far as away as Bangalore, India. In 2022 he was the recipient of the prestigious Elizabeth L. and John H. Schuler Architectural Award, and was named as one of the Top 50 Coastal Architects by Ocean Home magazine. With a rich academic and practice-based background, Phillip is recognized as an international authority on classical and traditional architecture. His designs are always specific to the property, and are rooted in a thorough understanding of the architectural history and details that create a unique Sense of Place.