|The Architects: John Carrere (1858 - 1911) and Thomas Hastings (1860 - 1929)
John Carrere was born on November 9, 1858 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the son of John Carrere of
Baltimore, a coffee merchant. His family had been living in Baltimore since the French revolution.
His mother was Scottish an educated in a Baltimore Convent. He started in the public schools of
Lausanne Switzerland. He went to school at the Institute Breitenstein in Switzerland and Ecole des
Beaux Arts in Paris, where he graduated in 1882. He worked in the ateliers of Victor Ropert,
Jean-Charles Laisne and Leon Ginain (second grand Prix in 1844.) His diplome was awarded to
winners of a special competition open to students who had been credited with about 2 years worth
of concourse in the first class. He married Marian Sidonia Dell of Jacksonville in 1886.
Thomas Hastings was born on March 1, 1860 in New York, the son of Dr. Thomas S. Hastings, a
Presbyterian Minister. This was the connection to Henry Flagler, as Dr. Hastings was Henry
Flagler's pastor. Thomas never associated with any church or any faith throughout his life. He went
to Columbia University for two years. He quite college and worked in the offices of Herter
Brothers as a draftsman under Charles Atwood. Then he spent four years in Paris at the Ecole des
Beaux Arts. He was in the atelier of Jules Andre. In 1900 he married Helen Ripley Benedict, the
daughter of E. Cornelius Benedict of Greenwich, Connecticut, with Mr. McKim as his best man.
McKim, Mead and White
Carrere and Hastings started working as draftsmen for the architect firm of McKim, Mead and
White. Both worked on Ross Winans' house in Baltimore. This firm also was engaged in designing
hotels. However, Carrere and Hastings quickly formed their own partnership with the apparent
blessing of the firm. One day Thomas Hastings was called to Mr. Flagler's office close to the new
firm. When he returned he was able to say, "We are going to Florida! We've got a million dollar
hotel to build there"
To start understanding what was needed in a grand hotel they interviewed many hotel men; this
process wasn't very helpful. In the end, they would find an experienced person for understanding
what a hotel needed in O.D. Seavey.
Although they met each other only briefly in Europe, Carrere and Hastings each traveled
extensively in Spain. This was beneficial later as they understood the uniqueness of St. Augustine as
a former Spanish colony and wanted to construct a building to fit in with the characteristic
atmosphere of St. Augustine. They created a style that would be called Spanish Renaissance. Not
only would it fit into the older Spanish style of St. Augustine, but it would also incorporate the
coquina gravel in the cement to highlight the Castillo and other older coquina block buildings.
In the days of working on the Ponce de Leon Hotel, Thomas Hastings lived with Dr. Anderson.
Carrere and Hastings transformed St. Augustine by designing the Ponce de Leon, The Alcazar,
Grace United Methodist Church, Memorial Presbyterian Church, and Kirkside. Each of these
buildings would be a unique contribution to the city's architectural heritage. By 1891, John Carrere
would be a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. They would have over one hundred
commissions in their first decade.
During opening ceremonies of the Ponce de Leon Hotel in 1888, Thomas Hastings gives his regrets
at the completion of the building: I only realized that the work of brains and hands was mine no
longer, that when I leave on the morrow I bid it goodbye, and it is saddened as though parting from
a loved child. Hastings was also the designer of some of the interior figures including the caryatids.
To give an idea of the level of detail that Hastings was capable of the pulpit Bible in Memorial
Presbyterian was designed by him. Both Carrere and Hastings are listed as the designers for the
baptismal font in Memorial Presbyterian done by Jennie Louis' husband as a memorial to her.
Mansion of Mr. Henry T. Sloane on East Seventy-second st, the house of Dr. S. A. Herter in New
York and the house of E. C. Benedict at Indian Harbor, Mr. Pitcaira's house in Pennsylvania were
some of the other homes completed by Carriere and Hastings.
New York Public Library
On November 24, 1897 the New York Tribune reported that Carrere & Hastings had been
successful in the competition opened for designs for the new Public Library in New York City by
the Academy of Design. (The jury that awarded the academy prize was composed of men whose
firms in three cases had been competitors for the Library prize. Messrs. Peabody, McKim and
John Galen Howard. The drawings for the library were submitted with scaled signatures. The
academy plans were signed.)
Marriage to Helen Benedict (New York Tribune, April 29, 1900)
The wedding of Miss Helen Ripley Benedict, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eilas C. Benedict, to
Thomas Hastings, which will take place at Greenwich, Conn., at 3:30 o'clock tomorrow afternoon,
will be notable. It is expected that ex-President and Mrs. Grover Cleveland and many other well
known persons will attend it. Two thousand invitations to witness the ceremony at the church have
been issued and provision is being made to entertain five hundred guests at the reception at Mr.
Benedict's summer home at Indian Harbor. The New York guests will be conveyed to Greenwich
on two special trains, leaving the Grand Central Station shortly after w o'clock.
Owing to the small size of the Presbyterian Church at Greenwich, which Miss Benedict attends, the
ceremony will be performed in the Second Congregational Church, the largest church building in
the town. The interior arrangements of the building are to be altered in order to adapt it for the
Episcopalian form of service, which is to be used. Preparations are being made for an elaborate
display of flowers and plants.
The marriage will be performed by the Rev. Dr. Thomas S. Hastings, ex-president of Union
Theological Seminary, the father of the bridegroom assisted by the Rev. Henry M. Sanders, pastor
of the Madison Avenue Baptist Church. The service will be elaborated by the singing of several
selections by the vested male choir of Trinity Church, this city. Victor Baier, organist and
choirmaster of Trinity Church, is to have charge of the music. The bride will be unattended save by
a page, Lawrence, son of Stanwood White.
The best man will be Charles F. McKim, of McKim, Meade & White. The ushers will be W.
Harris Roome, Robert H. Russell, Herbert Satterlee, Henry Barbey, Arden Robbins, William B.
Coster, Charles Dana Gibson, Frank S. Hastings, a brother of the bridegroom; Mr. Barle, the Hon.
Cecil Baring, Percy Turnure and Stanford White, of McKim, Meade & White.
Following immediately upon the service will be a reception at Indian Harbor.-
The bridal trip will be a tour in Europe. Mr. Hastings and his bride will sail on Thursday by the
North German Lloyd Line. They will be gone several months. In the course of their trip they will
visit the Paris Exposition. Upon their return they will live in this city.
Thomas Hastings, the bridegroom, is a member of the firm of architects Carrere & Hastings which
is designing the building to be erected in Bryand Park for the New York Public Library and the
new building for the National Academy of Design. He was born in this city in 1860. He studied two
years with different architects in this country and then went to Paris, where he spent four years in
the Ecole des Beaux Arts. While in Paris he met John M. Carrere, his partner. Upon returning to
this country he, with Mr. Carrere, entered the offices of McKim, Mead & White, where they
remained until 1885, when they severed their connection with that firm in order to undertake the
designing of several buildings to be erected at St. Augustine Fla., by H. M. Flagler. These buildings
included the hotels Ponce de Leon and Alcazar, two or three churches and a railroad station. Later
they designed a mansion for Henry T. Sloane, in East Seventy-second St., the City Hall at
Paterson, N. J., and E. C. Benedict's summer house at Indian Harbor, Greenwich.
Miss Benedict is the second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Benedict.
On January 30, 1901 he was awarded the la Croix de Chavalier de l'ordre National de la Legion
d'Honneur from France for his work in the Paris Exposition of 1900. In 1904 a gold medal was
given to the firm of Carrere and Hastings at the 1904 Universal Exposition at St. Louis
commemorating the acquisition of the Louisiana territory. In May 1905, Hastings was appointed
Director of Atelier for Columbia College with rank of Professor without salary but with a seat in
the Faculty of Fine Arts. He remained in that position until he resigned in 1912. He was appointed
by both William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson as a member of the Commission of Fine Arts.
He was a member of the Architectural Commission for the Panama Pacific International Exposition
in San Francisco. King George awarded him the King's Gold Medal in 1923 on a vote of the Royal
Institute of British Architects for his work on over 50 works of 1st class importance.. On April 1,
1925 he received an honorary degree of Master of Architecture from the University of Liverpool.
He also received the chevalier of the Legion of Honor from France.
Death of Thomas Hasting
Thomas Hasting died after an operation for appendicitis on October 22, 1929 at Mineola, Long
Island, New York. He was a trustee of the Academy of Arts and Letters, a former president of the
Beaux- Arts Institute of Design, several times a director of the American Institute of Architects,
chairman of the Sardis Exploration Society Commission, trustee and secretary-general of the
Museum of French Arts, former president of the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects, a founder of the
Federal Art Commission, and former president of the Architectural League of New York.
Death of John Carrere
John Carrere died following an auto accident on February 12, 1911. On the day of his funeral he
lay in state at the rotunda of the unfinished New York Public Library. He was elected an
Academician of the National Academy of Design in 1910, and was also a member of the
Architectural League of New York, a Vice President of the National Sculpture Society, had been
twice President of both the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and of the
Beaux-Arts Society of New York. He was a founder of the Fine Arts Federation of New York
City and a member of the Art Commission of the City of New York, a member of the National
Institute of Arts and Letters, and a Director of the Academy at Rome. He was a member of the
Century Club and was one of the founders of both the Richmond County Good Government Club
and the Staten Island Club.
|John Carrere and
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