Malkin Lecture: Playing with the Varsity

Gould Memorial Library, the last surviving major public building designed by Stanford White, emerged from a collaboration between a visionary educator, a generous donor, and two artists who, 15 years earlier, created the Veteran’s Room at the Armory. Collaborations in architecture can be fraught, and while the result was a great work of architecture, the design and construction of the library was no exception. The story begins in 1895 when New York University moved from Washington Square to University Heights and extends to the present, where today Gould forms the centerpiece of the landmark campus of Bronx Community College. Sam White’s lecture will trace a process that was rarely linear, occasionally messy, and begins with a cameo appearance of Gould Memorial Library on the silver screen.

Samuel G. White is a founder and consulting partner at PBDW Architects, a New York firm focusing on designs that introduce new interventions to historic settings. The firm’s work ranges from the restoration of Park Avenue Armory, the Palace Theatre, and Astor Courts to the reconfiguration of the New-York Historical Society, additions for Saint David’s School and Packer Collegiate Institute, and new designs for Learning Spring Elementary School, and the Moise Safra Center.

White is the author of The Houses of McKim, Mead & White, Nice House, and Stanford White in Detail, which was published in late October. He is co-author with Elizabeth White of McKim, Mead & White: The Masterworks and Stanford White Architect. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, an Academician of the National Academy of Design, and a former adjunct associate professor of Fine Arts at New York University. White is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania.

New York University, circa 1900–1910, via Library of Congress Prints and Photograph Division. Photo by Detroit Publishing Co.

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