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Lawrence Grant White
American 20th century architect
Lawrence Grant White, son of the architect Stanford White, was born on September 26, 1887. He received the degree of A.B. cum Laude from Harvard University in 1908 and a diploma from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 1913. Between 1915-1917, he was associated with the architect Frederic R. King. In 1919 he became a member of the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White Architects, 101 Park Avenue, New York, NY. He designed the buildings of the Service Group at Dumbarton Oaks as well as the Music Room and the East Bay of the Living Room (now Founders' Room). He first came to Dumbarton Oaks on February 28, 1921, to be interviewed by Robert Bliss as a prospective architect for renovations and additions. However, because Bliss had already retained Frederick Brooke, who was still in his employ, White felt that it would be unethical to do work for Bliss at that time. After Brook was dismissed from the project in 1923, White was engaged. The first mention of this comes in correspondence of April 16, 1923, from Mildred Bliss to Beatrix Farrand; she writes: "Robert is telephoning to Larry White to ask him to come down today or tomorrow to look at the lay of the incurable land, with view to drawing up plans for the far buildings...[which] can't be begun until next mid-winter.... [I]t will be such a pleasure to have the contact with Larry White that I hope his firm can undertake it." In correspondence to his colleague Kendall, on the occasion of Mildred Bliss' anticipated visit to the offices of McKim, Mead & White, he wrote of his patroness: "Her husband is only Minister to Sweden, but she is every inch an ambassadress, if not an empress!" [8/18/1924, McKim, Mead & White Archive, New York Historic Society]