Architect, artist, art collector, clubman, athlete. Son of George Henry Warren (1823-1892), and Mary Caroline Whitney Phoenix Warren (1832-1901). Whitney Warren began his architectural training at the Columbia University School of Architecture; later entering the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts, in Paris, in 1887.
Living in France for over a decade, Warren grew into a true cosmopolitan and an ardent Francophile, adopting a French manner and style of dress; usually wearing a white silk tie, light double-breasted vest, dark suit, opera cloak, broad-brimmed hat, and sported a gold-headed cane. He carried himself like the aristocrat he was. Immediately upon his return to the United States, in 1894, Whitney Warren won the commission, through an open competition, for the Newport Country Club, at that famous resort where his family had summered since 1881. Initially working out of the office of the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, he formed an association with Charles Wetmore, a real estate developer with a flair for design, who became the business mind of their new partnership.
Warren and Wetmore formed one of the most prolific and successful architectural practices in the history of America. Business leaders, of that time, encouraged an architectural expression worthy of the national economic prosperity. Whitney Warren was responsible for shaping both the public and private worlds of his prominent clientele, and channeled his unabashed creativity into a steady stream of commissions that included great railroad terminals, office towers, hotels, clubs, apartment buildings, and elaborate private homes. Some of his notable buildings included New York's Grand Central Terminal and the adjacent New York Central Railroad's offices and company-owned hotels, known as "Terminal City"; the New York Yacht Club, many of the most prominent apartment houses and hotels in the City, and the last great private townhouse to be built on New York's Fifth Avenue, for Florence Vanderbilt Twombly, undisputed leader of New York, and Newport's, Old-Guard 'Society' ~ just one of his many commissions for the Vanderbilt family.
In 1917 Warren received the Medal of Honor, from the American Institute of Architects, for the firm's work ~ that would continue for another two decades. A superb athlete, in 1910, at the age of forty-six, he swam the twelve miles from exclusive Bailey's Beach in Newport, of which he was a member, across open ocean to Narragansett Pier; a feat which made international headlines. Nearing the end of his life Warren declared, "I don't believe there was any one else who got as much fun out of life as I did!"
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