Stanford White was a founding partner of the firm McKim, Mead,and White. His classical approach to exterior design and form made him the premier American architect of his day. Much of his work was constructed in and around New York City, including the old Madison Square Garden, the Washington Arch and the York City Municipal Building. Because of the classical nature of his design, ornamental sculpture was often used, leading to his friendship with artist Augustus St. Gaudens.
Stanford White's first contact with Albany came in 1873, when he was a draughtsman for well known architect H. H. Richardson. At the time designing the New York Senate Chambers and other sections of the State Capitol, White noted his impressions of the city in a letter to his mother...
"Misery, wretchedness and the devil - I've got to spend another evening in Albany. Of all the miserable, second-class, one-horse towns, this is the most miserable."
White's affection for Albany seemed to remain on this level for the rest of his life. Although he designed the Arnold mansion and its carriage house, he did not remain in Albany to oversee its construction.
White was tragically murdered at age 53 by Harry Kendall Thaw, whose wife [Evelyn Nesbit] was allegedly having an affair with the architect. Ironically, the murder took place on the Madison Square Garden Roof, an entertainment spot designed by White.