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Theodore E. Blake


Centurion, 1919–1949

Full Name Theodore Evernghim Blake

Born 11 October 1869 in New York (Brooklyn), New York

Died 3 July 1949 in Greenwich, Connecticut

Buried Putnam Cemetery, Greenwich, Connecticut

Proposed by Thomas Hastings and Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes

Elected 3 May 1919 at age forty-nine

Century Memorial

Theodore Evernghim Blake. [Born] 1869. Architect.

Words, I know, can only partially convey a sense of the youthfulness and enthusiasm that Theodore Blake kept even into his old age. There was about him the quality and aspect of an Immortal—an Immortal in the classical sense. Always handsome, slim of figure, during his last years he became truly beautiful, with a beauty that derived not so much from his outer aspect as from his inner feelings and compulsion to quiet, reticent goodness. His life was, in short, like his architecture: indeed his life was his architecture—which is to say that both were characterized by sound planning in a manner to effect an organic solution, always expressing the truly aesthetic. Beauty, serenity and charm must permeate both life and architecture, and so they did for Theodore Blake.

He was the most modest of men, always eager to help others with no interest to advance himself. Indeed, so far did his modesty go that he was both surprised and embarrassed by the honors which came to him as architect: his only pride was in his draftsmanship, a draftsmanship so perfect, so unequalled in our time that his drawings were a challenge to the builders who interpreted them into wood and steel, brick and stone. This also was Theodore Blake, perfectionist both in his life and in his architecture.

He had a late and leisurely lunch at the Century every working day and then took an early train to his old home in the middle of Greenwich—set in its little Victorian park surrounded by gardens filled with native and exotic plantings which had matured to the fullest. This also was Theodore Blake: he was a part of all of it and it was a part of him, perfectly in character each to the other.

In one sense he was, I think, a true Victorian, exemplified in his life and his home. But that, when one thinks of it, is too restricted a view: the fact is that he partook of all the great Ages in which men could be sensitive gentlemen, yet disciplined to create, and to enjoy, beauty.

Source: Henry Allen Moe Papers, Mss.B.M722. Reproduced by permission of American Philosophical Society Library & Museum, Philadelphia

Henry Allen Moe
Henry Allen Moe Papers, 1949 Memorials