Research Proposal



Research topic/Idea:

For my final research paper of Master Builders, I will analyze and discuss Emlen Urban’a supervised construction of the Lancaster Trust Building and the designs of New York firm of York & Sawyer. A major type of architecture that was incorporated in both Lancaster City and New York is the Beaux-art theme. What I will be analyzing is the significance and similarities the Beaux-art architectural theme and the connection it shares with architectural developments in specific buildings in both Lancaster and New York City.

What is Beaux-Art Architecture?

In French, beaux art means fine arts, this style of architecture flourished between the years 1885-1920. For an architectural development to be considered Beaux- art , the building must have a flat roof, Multiple stories, a raised first story, arched windows, arched doorways, symmetrical. Lastly, the beaux- art theme incorporates sculpture and statuary murals used to identify a building. Columns or pillars may be incorporated as well.

Beaux-Art in New York:  Penn Station, Grand Central Station, NYU Institute of Fine Arts

Beaux-Art in Lancaster:  Hager Building,   Rhoads Mansion, Lancaster Trust


I plan to investigate specific buildings in the cities of Lancaster and New York by architects such as C. Emlen Urban and York & Sawyer, and how their Beaux-art designs articulates specific characteristics in each city.

York & Sawyer:

York and Sawyer were predominantly a Beaux-art architectural organization. The business was run by a partnership of two men, Edward York and Philip Sawyer. In 1898 both of these men established their business in New York City and began to become known for many of their outstanding structures. At the time, York & Sawyer became very popular in the construction of hospitals and banks. Both of these men trained in McKim, Mead and White.

“York and Sawyer.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Feb. 2012. Web. 01 Mar. 2012.

McKim, Mead & White:

This was one of the most prominent architectural videos in the twentieth century.  The architectural firm has three partners who were Charles Mckim, William Mead and Stanford White. This specific firm was major training grounds for prominent architects, designers and draftsmen.

“McKim, Mead & White.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Feb. 2012. Web. 01 Mar 2012.

Primary Sources Thus Far: (Absent day of Lancaster Trust- not included in sources yet)

“Beaux Arts New York: The City in the Gilded Years.” Alibris. Web. 01 Mar. 2012. 

Partners for Sacred Places: Home. Web. 01 Mar. 2012. 

“McKim, Mead & White.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Feb. 2012. Web. 01 Mar 2012.

“York and Sawyer.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Feb. 2012. Web. 01 Mar. 2012.

Weekly Objectives:

Week 1- Visit Lancaster Trust for the first time and make connections with York Sawyer firm. Also, visit the preservation trust and analyze the specific paintings dealing with my research topic.

Week 2- Tour Lancaster and make connections to building in New York; also, visit the New York City office in Lancaster for information on buildings.

Week3- Construct thesis for paper and begin laying out the format and organization of the research paper with the information found at Lancaster Trust, Preservation Trust, and other buildings visited.


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