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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

George B. Post (1837-1913)

Today marks the 173rd birthday of George B. Post, one of New York's most influential Beaux-Arts architects.

Post was born in New York City on December 15, 1837, and graduated from the University of the City of New York--today called NYU--in 1858 with a degree in Civil Engineering. Post immediately apprenticed to Richard Morris Hunt, who had recently returned from Paris with a degree from L'ecole des Beaux Arts. Post worked with Hunt at his Tenth Street Studio in Greenwich Village for a few years; however, as soon as the Civil War broke out, Post volunteered and became a captain of New York's 22nd Regiment. The company saw action not only at the front, but also during the quelling of the New York City Draft Riot in 1863.

In the post-war era, Post went on to rival his former teacher in terms of influence. Alas, many of his great New York buildings are now gone, including  the Produce Exchange, the Cotton Exchange, and Joseph Pulitzer's World building, the first skyscraper to call itself the tallest building in the world. But what remains of Post's work is spectacular, including the New York Stock Exchange (1903), the Harlem campus of City College (1907), the Brooklyn Historical Society (1881), and the original Williamsburg Savings Bank (1875) at 175 Broadway in Williamsburg. Post was President of the Architectural League, the American Institute of Architects, the Fine Arts Federation of New York, and the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park, where he oversaw the construction of the studio building for artists who were club members.

(Post also worked in other cities, most notably at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, where he built the Manufacturers and Arts Building, and as the architect of Wisconsin's Capitol in 1906.)

If you work or live near one of Post's buildings, take a moment today to stop and admire his handiwork. Happy Birthday, George!

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Read more about the New York Stock Exchange,
City College, and other Post buildings in

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