Stanny: The Gilded Life of Stanford White

Paul R. Baker, Author Free Press $29.95 (483p) ISBN 978-0-02-901781-4
In this well-researched, engrossing biography, Baker, professor at New York University, records the life of White as a great artist and as ``Stanny,'' his lecherous alter ego. The architect was born in New York City in 1853 and rose to the top of his profession early; at age 25, he was a partner in the eminent architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White. His splendid buildings, Manhattan mansions and Newport ``cottages'' were financed by the rich profits of the ``gilded age,'' as were the amorous escapades of Stanny and his pals. Married men, they left their wives at home and frolicked instead with madcap young women, one of whom proved to be Stanny's downfall: Harry Thaw shot him fatally in 1906 for seducing his fiancee, Evelyn Nesbitt. Stanny as roue remains vivid to a public which has unfortunately not treasured his buildings. Many of them, like Madison Square Garden, where he was killed, have been felled by the wrecking ball to make way for modern architecture. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
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