CASS GILBERT COLLECTION, 1897-1936,
Cass Gilbert, 1859-1934, was a prominent American architect best
known for his commercial and public buildings.
Gilbert was born in Zanesville, Ohio and educated in St. Paul,
Minnesota. After only a year of study at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and subsequent travels in Europe, he began working for the
New York firm of McKim, Mead, and White in 1880.
In 1883 He returned to St. Paul where he practiced briefly with James
Knox Taylor, a classmate at M.I.T., designing private homes, churches,
and commercial buildings. His first major commission was the Minnesota
State Capitol (1895), which he modeled after the National Capitol and
the dome of St. Peter's, Rome.
Gilbert returned to New York in 1899 when he won the prized
commission for the design of the U.S. Customs House. This was followed
by many other major projects. The most famous of these was the Woolworth
Building in New York (1913); with its fifty-five stories and Gothic
ornament it is considered Gilbert's greatest achievement.
Firmly supportive of the European tradition and eastern academic
architecture, Gilbert continued his numerous and successful designs
until his death in 1934. Among his many familiar public buildings are
the Treasury Annex and the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, the state
capitol buildings of West Virginia and Arkansas, and the public
libraries of St. Louis and Detroit. Go to Scope and