Mr. Carrere was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to American parents. When he grew up he decided architecture was his muse and he went to study in France at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. After his graduation in 1882 he returned to the United States and married Marion Dell of Jacksonville, Florida in 1886. Shortly before this he formed a partnership with Thomas Hastings whom he had first met while they were both students at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. The two men became even faster friends upon returning to the United States when they both secured positions with the prestigious architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White. The year was 1885 when Carrere and Hastings joined forces, leaving McKim, Mead and White to form their own design firm which would ultimately become equally famous for beauty and elegance in architectural design.
Tn addition to the beautiful structure at 19 West 31 Street, (where Mr. Carrere and his family resided until his death), the fabled team of Carrere and Hastings also created the Manhattan Bridge and the exquisite New York Public Library, at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, both of which still stand today, as well as other monuments to the enduring beauty and craftsmanship they practiced.
Mr. Carrere's life was cut short very dramatically. At a time when automobiles were still a rarity, he was cut down by a collision between the taxi in which he was riding and a streetcar. He suffered a concussion to the brain and died a short time thereafter without ever regaining consc~ousness.
When his death notice appeared it was accompanied by a list of his achievements and honors that is too lengthy to reproduce here. It was generally acknowledged that he should be remembered, not just for the beauty he brought to the urban scene through his art, but also as a man who was loved and respected by many people because he always gave love and respect to everyone he met.
Thomas Hastings was descended from a long line of distinguished men. His father was the president of the Union Theological Seminary and his grandfather was a respected composer of sacred music. His lineage goes back to a Thomas Hastings who joined the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634. Our architect, though, did not rely on his venerable background or heritage to carry him through life.
Mr. Hastings studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts with Mr. Carrere and the two men became friends. Upon their return to the United States they both worked for the well known and highly respected architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White. In 1885 he left that office in the company of Mr. Carrere and the two men formed an alliance that is still respected a hundred years later in architectural circles and by lovers of beauty.
After the tragic death of his partner he went on with his work alone. His name is on such monuments as the Arlington Memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the courtyard statuary of the Louvre Museum. He had a hand in the old Metropolitan Opera House as well as residences for such distinguished names as Guggenheim, DuPont and others as well as the American Monument in Paris which celebrates the defeat of Germany at the Marne, (W.W.I).
One of the most revered architects of his time he died at the age of 69 after an operation to remove his appendix. He was survived by his wife, Helen Benedict Hastings and one sister, Miss Isabel Hastings.
He will be remembered for many things. As with his late partner his list of accomplishments and honors is too lengthy for this space. He may also be remembered with a wry and wistful smile for the fact that he deplored the American phenomenon of the "skyscraper". He denounced them as "bad in style, definitely bad for city traffic and the health of the citizenry". He felt a law should have been passed to limit their height to a maximum of eight stories.
Perhaps we should have listened to him?'
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