Stanford White (1853-1906)
Stanford White, Architect, of McKim, Mead & White, New York
Stanford White was a member of the celebrated architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, that designed so many of the most decadent Beaux-Arts mansions during New York's Gilded Age. Among the partners, it was Stanford White who undertook the many domestic commissions from the wealthiest of Gilded Age America. He was considered to be the arbiter of good taste, but he was also the same man who held the infamous 'Pie Girl': "A huge pastry was brought in, the waiters chanted 'Six-a-song-of-Sixpence,' and at the punch line, the pie opened, a flock of canaries flew out, followed by a sixteen-year old girl, swathed in black veiling. The press castigated the evening as a bacchanalian revel". In 1906, in a scandal that shook Gilded Age society to its core, White was shot and murdered by a jealous husband, Harry Kendall Thaw (son of a Pittsburgh railroad baron) for seducing another sixteen-year old girl: Harry Thaw's showgirl wife! Thaw was acquitted on the grounds of insanity. He left a widow, Bessie, and one son.
Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (2013), by Hugo Vickers