Friday, September 8, 2006

The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing

As a sixteen year old girl, model, actress and Gibson Girl Evelyn Nesbit was debauched by prominent New York architect, Stanford White. On June 25, 1906, White paid for taking Evelyn's virginity when her new husband, the wild Pittsburgh millionaire Harry K. Thaw, took White's life on the rooftop garden of Madison Square Garden.

"...The 1906 murder of Stanford White by Harry K. Thaw quickly became known as "The Crime of the Century" and Evelyn Nesbit became known as "The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing." The shocking story and the lurid details which emerged from Thaw's trial became a modern morality tale which informed the consciousnesses of early Twentieth Century America. Nesbit, Thaw and White enacted an archetypical tragedy of sex and violent death on a dark, urban stage. The story is a disturbing marriage of the breaking of ancient taboos and the anxiety of life in an ultimately unknowable city; a tale of innocence lost in a myriad of ways..."

McKim, Mead & White’s architectural citizenship