Because there is a gap in Charles McKim's papers from 1870 to 1886, very little is known about his beginnings as an architect. This article uses previously unpublished letters to provide insights into the work and personality of the young McKim. It also includes hitherto unpublished drawings of the elevations and plans and a photograph of the exterior of one of his early works, the Francis Blake House (1873-1875). The only previously published photographs of the house have been one of the exterior and one of the dining room, which first appeared in the New York Sketch-Book of Architecture, July 1875. This work is considered in connection with H. H. Richardson's Andrews house of the same period. It is of special significance in that it was probably McKim's first use of shingles and was the precursor of the resort houses that McKim, Mead, and later White would design throughout the 1870s and 1880s.
- Copyright 1988 The Society of Architectural Historians