Buttrick White & Burtis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Buttrick White & Burtis (also known as BWB) was an architecture firm based in New York City, established in 1981 by the architects Harold Buttrick, Samuel G. White, and Theodore A. Burtis III, remaining active until 2002. Harold Buttrick left the firm in 1998 to form Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects. The architect Jean P. Phifer was a partner of the firm until 1996, after which she served as President of the Art Commission of the City of New York from 1998–2003. The architect Michael Dwyer was associated with the firm from 1981–1996. In 2002, Buttrick White & Burtis merged with Platt Byard Dovell to become Platt Byard Dovell White.[1]

Architectural practice[edit]

Buttrick White & Burtis's work was eclectic. Writing in 1985 in New York Magazine, Carter Wiseman contrasted the firm's conservative renovation work at the traditional, oak paneled Harvard Club of New York with their more avant-garde designs for the stores of the then-hip Tower Records chain, adding that the chain's downtown venue was "the most successful such enterprise in America."[2] BWB was also known for artful renovations and additions to architectural landmarks, such as those at the Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan, restored in 1990; at Casa Italiana, Columbia University, completed in 1996; and at the Brooklyn College library, completed in 2002.

BWB's largest project, a fifteen-story, postmodern building in Manhattan, built for the Saint Thomas Choir School, was completed in 1987,[3] and dedicated in January 1988 by the Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury. The firm occasionally designed in a more traditional idiom; in a 1995 survey by The New York Times of the then-emerging New Classical school of architecture, the reporter Patricia Leigh Brown noted that, "Michael Dwyer...an architect at Buttrick White & Burtis...has recently completed a classical-style yacht and an $8.95 million town house on the Upper East Side and is renovating Rudolph Nureyev's former apartment in the Dakota."[4]

The architects associated with Buttrick White & Burtis were prolific authors, most notably Samuel G. White, a great-grandson of the architect Stanford White, who between 1998 and 2008 co-authored a trilogy of the work of Stanford White's firm, McKim, Mead & White.[5] In 2015, the trilogy's authors were given an Arthur Ross Award by the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.

Principal Architectural Works[edit]


Written Works[edit]

Among the written works of architects who at one time or another were associates or partners at Buttrick White & Burtis are the following:

  • William W. Braham. Modern Color/Modern Architecture: Amédée Ozenfant and the Genealogy of Color in Modern Architecture (London: Ashgate, 2002).
  • Michael M. Dwyer, ed., with preface by Mark Rockefeller. Great Houses of the Hudson River (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 2001).
  • Michael M. Dwyer. Carolands (Redwood City, CA: San Mateo County Historical Association, 2006).
  • Jean Parker Phifer. Public Art New York (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2009).
  • Samuel G. White. The Houses of McKim, Mead & White (New York: Rizzoli, 1998).
  • Samuel G. White and Elizabeth White. McKim, Mead & White: The Masterworks (New York: Rizzoli, 2003).
  • Samuel G. White and Elizabeth White. Stanford White Architect (New York: Rizzoli, 2008).
  • Samuel G. White. Nice House (New York: The Monacelli Press, 2010).


  1. ^ "Postings," The New York Times, October 20, 2002.
  2. ^ Carter Wiseman, "Light-Up Time," New York Magazine, February 25, 1985.
  3. ^ Joseph Giovannini, "Young Voices Soar at the New St. Thomas Choir School," The New York Times, September 17, 1987.
  4. ^ Patricia Leigh Brown, "Architecture's Young Old Fogies," The New York Times, February 9, 1995.
  5. ^ Christopher Gray, "On the Trail of Stanford White," The New York Times, October 24, 2008.
  6. ^ NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, Guide to New York City Landmarks, 2009, page 18.
  7. ^ Carter Wiseman, "Light-Up Time," New York Magazine, February 25, 1985.
  8. ^ Carter Wiseman, "Light-Up Time," New York Magazine, February 25, 1985.
  9. ^ Carter Wiseman, "Light-Up Time," New York Magazine, February 25, 1985.
  10. ^ Chris Morris, "Tower Flexes Muscle in LA," Billboard, December 6, 1986.
  11. ^ Elizabeth Stagg, "This Year's Look in New Store Design," Billboard, March 15, 1986.
  12. ^ Joseph Giovannini, "Young Voices Soar at the New St. Thomas Choir School," The New York Times, September 17, 1987.
  13. ^ Joyce Purnick, "For A Historic Plaza, Pears and Limes?" The New York Times, March 27, 1985.
  14. ^ Paul Goldberger, "A Restored Grand Army Plaza," The New York Times, June 28, 1990.
  15. ^ Shawn G. Kennedy, "Private Schools Turn To Reconstruction," The New York Times, October 13, 1991.
  16. ^ Lee Goff, Stone Built: Contemporary American Houses (New York: Monacelli Press, 1997).
  17. ^ "A Townhouse in the Corinthian Order," Traditional Building, September 1991, page 48.
  18. ^ Philip Arcidi, "Learning by the Rules," Progressive Architecture, December 1, 1993.
  19. ^ Michael M. Dwyer, "Building With Stone," Traditional Building, March 1996, page 25.
  20. ^ Marjorie Kaufman, "Artist's Homestead Restored With Care," The New York Times, May 2, 1993.
  21. ^ Paul Goldberger, "Bonnie Dune Revisited," Architectural Digest, August 1995.
  22. ^ Jay Johnson, Jed Johnson: Opulent Restraint (Rizzoli, 2005).
  23. ^ Kim Van Duzer, "Casa Italiana to Open Doors," Columbia Daily Spectator, January 31, 1996.
  24. ^ "A Student Center for Sarah Lawrence," The New York Times, March 22, 1998.
  25. ^ "Trinity School: Gyms Upstairs and Down," The New York Times, May 18, 1997.
  26. ^ Nadine Brozan, "On CUNY's Campuses, The Subject Is Change," The New York Times, September 7, 2000.