What I’m Reading: American Eve-The Birth of the “It Girl”

I have always been fascinated with Stanford White’s architecture. White was the conspicuous partner of the preeminent architectural firm of the day, McKim, Mead & White (late 1800s-early 1900s).

The firm designed grand mansions in NYC, Long Island, Newport, RI, New Jersey–and the house John grew up in. It was McKim, Stanford White’s senior partner, who designed the house where John grew up. (Tomorrow’s post will be about his old house).

The famous architectural firm also designed Penn Station, Washington Square Arch and the Tiffany, Whitney, Pulitzer and Vanderbilt mansions, among others.

But it was White who was the most infamous partner at the firm. He was murdered at Madison Square Garden, which he designed, by Evelyn Nesbit’s wealthy and jealous husband.


This book is about Evelyn Nesbit’s rags to riches story, and how she managed to escape poverty, arrive in NYC penniless at the turn of the 20th century, marry one of the wealthiest men in the city as well as becoming Stanford White’s mistress.

Evelyn Nesbit was the very first “It Girl” and she became famous in the very first “Crime of the Century.”


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