The Architecture of Warren & Wetmore
By Peter Pennoyer & Anne Walker
WARREN & WETMORE WAS ONE of the most successful and prolific architectural practices in America during the first three decades of the twentieth century. Producing over three hundred major projects, including the celebrated Grand Central Terminal (designed in association with Reed & Stem), the charismatic Beaux Arts–trained Whitney Warren (1864–1943) and shrewd lawyer Charles D. Wetmore (1866–1941) grasped the stylistic requirements and prevailing architectural tastes of the vibrant period leading up to the Great Depression. The firm’s bold and creative interpretation of classical and French styles, as translated into American practice, reflected the cultural, social, and business aspirations of the country’s ruling class.
Illustrated with Jonathan Wallen’s new color photographs and with historic photographs, drawings, and plans, The Architecture of Warren & Wetmore is the first book to examine exclusively the scope of the firm’s wide-ranging body of work. In addition to Grand Central Terminal, Warren & Wetmore was responsible for some of New York’s most memorable buildings, including the New York Yacht Club, grand mansions for such prominent clients as the Vanderbilts, and a number of luxurious early apartment buildings and hotels. During a period of rampant building activity, the firm was instrumental in shaping New York’s expanding cityscape with its office buildings in Terminal City and setback towers. Its hotels and resorts nationwide set an unprecedented level of comfort and luxury for America’s leisure class, guiding the direction of the modern-day hotel. The reconstruction of the university library in Louvain, Belgium—Warren’s most prized commission—held the international spotlight after World War I.