Richard Morris Hunt (October 31, 1827 – July 31, 1895) was an American architect of the nineteenth century and a preeminent figure in the history of American architecture. Hunt was, according to design critic Paul Goldberger writing in The New York Times, "American architecture's first, and in many ways its Show more...
greatest, statesman." Aside from Hunt's sculpting of the face of New York City, including designs for the facade and Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty and many Fifth Avenue mansions lost to the wrecking ball, Hunt founded both the American Institute of Architects and the Municipal Art Society.
Born at Brattleboro, Vermont, Hunt was the son of Jane Maria Leavitt, born to an influential family of Suffield, Connecticut, and Hon. Jonathan Hunt, a U.S. congressman whose own father was the lieutenant governor of Vermont, and scion of the wealthy and prominent Hunt family of Vermont. Richard Morris Hunt was the brother of the Boston painter William Morris Hunt, and the photographer and lawyer Leavitt Hunt. (Hunt was named for Lewis Richard Morris, a family relation, who was a U.S. Congressman from Vermont and the nephew of Gouverneur
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