Gilded Age Architect
Today is the anniversary of the death of Richard Morris Hunt, who was an American architect during the gilded age.
Gardeners know Richard for his collaborations with Frederick Law Olmsted. They worked together on the Vanderbilt mausoleum and the Chicago world‘s fair. Their ultimate collaboration occurred in Asheville, North Carolina, where they worked together to design the gardens, house, and manor village for the Biltmore Estate.
Richard is often recognized as the Dean of American Architecture. He was the first American trained at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
If you get the chance to walk around Central Park, you’ll discover a memorial to honor Richard Morris Hunt. The memorial is located on the eastern perimeter of the park, and it was created by the same man who created the monument to Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial: Daniel Chester French.
When he was alive, Richard wanted to elevate the public taste in design and the arts, but he was also flexible enough to meet them where they were. Modern-day designers will recognize the truth of Richard’s advice to other Landscape Architects. He said,
"The first thing you've got to remember is that it's your clients' money you're spending. Your goal is to achieve the best results by following their wishes. If they want you to build a house upside down standing on its chimney, it's up to you to do it."