Friday, March 4, 2011

A Peter Pennoyer Postscript

One of the pleasures of writing this blog is that it has led to the felicitous correspondence with and meeting of a number of interesting people with shared interests that I likely never would have come into contact with otherwise.  The following story is an example of one such meeting.

As regular readers of this blog may well remember, I recently wrote a post about an embarrassment of book signing parties that we attended here in New York this past autumn and winter.  Six of them, actually.

I concluded that post by writing that there was one book signing party that I wasn't able to attend, due to a rather tiresome conflict.  It was for the esteemed architect Peter Pennoyer's monograph, titled—not surprisingly—Peter Pennoyer Architects, written by Anne Walker and published by Vendome Press.  I wrote that while I owned a copy of Mr. Pennoyer's absorbing and gorgeously illustrated book, it remained unsigned, and that I aspired to remedy that unfortunate situation one day should I be so fortunate as to have the opportunity to do so.

Peter Pennoyer, AIA
Photograph courtesy of 

the New York Winter Antiques Show

Well, Lady Fortune has indeed smiled upon Reggie, for he has since met Mr. Pennoyer—this generation's Stanford White—and had his book signed by him!  Here's how it happened: Mr. Pennoyer read my post and was gracious enough to leave a comment on it volunteering to sign my copy of his book, and he invited me to contact him to arrange a meeting for that purpose at his firm's offices in Midtown.  So I called and arranged to visit.

Peter Pennoyer Architects' offices are on a high floor in a limestone office building on lower Park Avenue and were a beehive of creative activity the day I stopped by.  Mr. Pennoyer graciously took time from his schedule, gave me a tour of the firm's spacious and handsomely appointed offices, and showed me working drawings and models of a number of the firm's current projects.  He also introduced me to several of his colleagues, including Gregory Gilmartin, the firm's Director of Design, who was—I was gratified to learn—familiar with this blog!  At the tour's conclusion Mr. Pennoyer made an unexpected gift to me of a recent issue of The Classicist, a journal published by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America, a most worthy organization where he is chairman of the board of directors, and he inscribed my copy of his book, as you can see in the following photograph.

I am very pleased to have met Mr. Pennoyer, who I found to be pleasant, erudite, and thoughtful (in other words, a gentleman), and to have had the opportunity to visit his offices.  It was most gracious of him to invite me to stop by and to sign my copy of his book, for which Reggie is most grateful and pleased.

Thank you, Mr. Pennoyer.

Now, if I can just get Anne Walker to sign the book, too . . .


  1. Every now and again human nature gives one cause to hope. Splendid stuff.

  2. Well done, Reggie. Meeting Mr Pennoyer and his colleagues must have been really interesting and worthwhile.

    I agree fully with your sentiment that blogging brings with it unexpected benefits such as correspondence and meeting with interesting people sharing our interests.

  3. How lovely. How well-mannered of you both:).

  4. With all due respect to Mr. Pennoyer, I would have to say that this generation's Stanford White is Samuel G. White, his grandson and a very able and imaginative architect.

  5. How very lovely!! I absolutely adore his work and the work of the Institute. He and his wife are an incredibly creative duo. He is the perfect combination of classical training and modern sensibilities. And he shows the additional great good taste of reading your scribblings!!

  6. That's very cool. Just spent sometime ooohhhing and aaahhing through Mr. Pennoyer's gorgeous website and found a friend's childhood home!


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