The Gilded Age's 'Crime of the Century'

On June 25, 1906, Stanford White — heralded as the most important architect of New York City's Gilded Age, the designer of the Washington Square Arch, Judson Memorial Church and the Players Club, among others — was taking in a premiere performance at the rooftop theater of his Renaissance Revival-style Madison Square Garden.

The musical, “Mam'Zelle Champagne,” was a flop and theatergoers started to leave early. Among them were Harry Kendall Thaw — 35-year-old heir to the Pennsylvania Railroad fortune — and his 21-year-old wife, Evelyn Nesbit, a model and chorus girl, visiting New York from their native Pittsburgh while on their way to Europe.

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