Cass Gilbert (1859-1934) was as prolific an architectural designer as he was talented.cass Generating more than 700 proposed or completed buildings, memorials, and plans for projects in America and on the international stage, he used a keen acumen and a sophisticated aesthetic sense in envisioning the built environment. After stints with McKim, Mead & White (1880-1882) and working in partnership with James Knox Taylor (1885-1891), Gilbert was able to move from St. Paul, Minnesota to New York when he received commissions for the Broadway Chambers Building and the United States Custom House. By the first decade of the 20th-century, he had secured a national reputation and had become entrenched in the circles of the architectural and social elite, enabling him to develop and expand his design skills and practice further. The scope of his professional life includes forays into every major building type: residential, ecclesiastic, commercial, transportation, and, to a large extent, civic buildings that grace many urban places today. His two best-known projects are the Woolworth Building (1910-1913) and the United States Supreme Court (1928-1935). Countless others are known to many in regional contexts, including:

  • Dozens of houses and churches in the St. Paul, Minnesota area (1884-1899)
  • Minnesota State Capitol (1896-1905)
  • United States Custom House in New York (1899-1907)
  • Saint Louis Art Museum (1901-1904)
  • Finney Memorial Chapel in Oberlin, Ohio (1905-1908)
  • Union Central Life Insurance Company Building in Cincinnati (1911-1913)
  • Detroit Public Library (1913-1921)
  • U.S. Army Supply Base, now known as the Brooklyn Army Terminal, (1918-1919)
  • West Virginia State Capitol (1924-1932)
  • United States Supreme Court, Washington, D.C. (1929 – 1935)
  • Federal Courthouse at Foley Square (1929-1936)
  • United States Legation, Ottawa (1928-1932)
  • comprehensive plans for state universities in Minnesota and Texas and elsewhere (1902-1920)
  • a group of civic buildings in Waterbury, Connecticut
    These and many other projects by Gilbert speak of a long and storied career that drew inspiration from the teachings of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and historicist leanings as well as modern technologies and orientation in building.

B. Christen