Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cass Gilbert, Jr. - In the Shadow of a Legend


I've been doing some research on Cass Gilbert lately. He was a fabulous architect, responsible for a number of wonderful buildings including the Minnesota State Capitol, the US Supreme Court Building, and the Woolworth Building in New York.

However, I've been intrigued by story of his son, who worked in his father's office and operated it after his father's death. Cass Gilbert, Jr. seemed to live in the shadow of his father. The most notable works that are attributed to him are his father's projects he brought to completion after Cass, Sr. died in 1934.

In the late 1940s, Cass Jr. and his wife were driving in Connecticut when he ran into a haywagon full of young adults, sending about 20 of them to the hospital. He was convicted of drunk driving, given a steep fine, and sentenced to a year in jail.

Cass Gilbert, Jr. had few projects after that, and most, if not all, that he did have related to his father's work. When he died, there was little note of it in the papers.

Cass Jr.'s son, Cass Gilbert III, a minister, died this year in Bennington, VT. Between these pieces, I think there must be a fascinating, and perhaps tragic, life story.
Images courtesy of the Library of Congress

1 comment:

kim* said...

oooh interesting