It was a grand time to be a rich New Yorker. The wealthy architect Stanford White was responsible for designing several iconic public, institutional and religious buildings in the city in a decadent beaux arts “American Renaissance” style, including the original Madison Square Garden, which he owned. White, more than any other man, was responsible for the look of what was quickly becoming the wealthiest city on Earth. This week, we tell the story of the murder of Stanford White. White’s killer was an eccentric businessman from Pittsburgh named Harry Thaw. Thaw’s wealthy family was prepared to pay a million dollars to spare him from the electric chair. They were also prepared to embrace an unorthodox legal strategy. Harry Thaw’s murder trial, and his temporary insanity plea, shook America to its core.
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