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About J. Cleaveland Cady
Josiah Cleaveland Cady, commonly know as J. Cleaveland Cady, was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1837 and died in New York City on April 17, 1919. He was a New York-based architect whose most familiar surviving building is the south range of the American Museum of Natural History on New York's Upper West Side. He worked in partnership from 1870 with Milton See (1854 - October 27, 1920) in the firm of Cady, Berg and See.
Cady was the son of Josiah Cady and his wife Lydia, of Providence, Rhode Island, where he was born. He graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, in 1860; the following year he married Emma M. Bulkeley, of Orange, New Jersey; they had five children. Cady was a devoted Presbyterian, who served as head of the Sunday school at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, East 42nd Street; his first church commission was the First Presbyterian Church of Oyster Bay, New York. Here he utilized the Carpenter Gothic or Stick Style to create a surprising effect for this wood-frame church building set on a hillside overlooking Oyster Bay.
Cady, Berg and See
Cady was the architect of the original Metropolitan Opera House, opened October 1883 (demolished in 1967). Suitable to the Italian opera that was central to the repertory as New Yorkers then conceived it, the new house for the Metropolitan Opera presented a palazzo-like full front on Broadway between 39th and 40th streets that offered three tiers of arched triple openings framed by strong masonry piers. Soon the facade was flanked by matching seven-story towers, to provide extra space and income to support the opera. Cady's original auditorium was gutted by fire on August 27, 1892.
The American Museum of Natural History has a magnificently rusticated Richardsonian Romanesque entrance range by Cady and See, stretching 707 feet along its 77th Street frontage. The Museum also preserves its Cady auditorium, restored in 2002 as the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Theater.
Cady and See designed the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the Skin and Cancer Hospital, Bellevue Medical School, and the Hudson Street Hospital, and also many churches.
They designed many college buildings, fifteen buildings for Yale University alone, and buildings for Williams College, Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and for Wesleyan University. Cady served as a trustee for Berea College during the tenure of President William Goodell Frost, Cady's nephew. He designed many of the buildings on the Berea College Campus.
At Trinity College, Cady's 1878 St. Anthony Hall (Delta Psi) is massively rusticated Richardsonian Romanesque in style, with narrow "arrow-slit" windows and even a tall cylindrical tower with a steep conical roof. The tower is half-embedded within the densely massed picturesque structure.
In 1880, Cady and See were hired by William West Durant to design a summer chapel on an island in Raquette Lake, New York, to entice his wealthy acquaintances to build their summer homes in the area. The chapel was constructed in the Stick Style. The plans were used in 1881, modified by Durant at the request of Harriet Beecher Stowe, for the Church of Our Saviour in Mandarin, Florida, and again in 1883 for the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beattystown, New Jersey.
Ten years later Cady again built a chapel on Raquette Lake, St. William's Roman Catholic Church on Long Point, again in Shingle Style, for Durant's employees and local residents. Both churches, only accessible by water, preserve and reflect the Adirondack heritage.
Cady & Gregory
Cady was later in partnership with William S. Gregory, a long-term associate, as "Cady & Gregory", with offices at 40 West 32nd Street, New York.
Cady presented his architectural library to Trinity College in 1918 and died the following year at his apartment, 214 Riverside Drive. A 1993 Trinity College exhibition "Forgotten architect of the gilded age: Josiah Cleaveland Cady's legacy" with a catalogue by Kathleen A. Curran, failed to cause Cady's reputation to rebound.