Maitland Belknap Biography

Maitland Belknap





Architect, painter, and draftsman Maitland Belknap was born in Huntington, New York, on August 3, 1889. He earned a Bachelor of Letters at Princeton University in 1912; a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 1916; and a Masters of Arts from Princeton in 1918 just before enlisting in the U.S. Army 29th Engineers as World War I entered its fourth year. Following the war, he returned to Princeton, likely to complete his thesis with the publication of Princeton Sketches, a book of etchings of his alma mater he executed with fellow etcher Edwin Avery Park. Belknap was then granted a travelling scholarship from Princeton to live and study draftsmanship in Belgium, where he remained from 1920 to 1921.

During World War II, Belknap was a civilian employee of the U.S. Army, serving as a draftsman in Florida and as a manufacturing plant designer for Bell Bomb Factories in Marietta, Georgia. At the end of the war, he returned to Florida where he established an architectural career. He was hired to design the now infamous Mar-A-Lago along with Marion Sims Wyeth. Unfortunately, their work was deemed too sensible by the owner, Post-cereal heiress Marjorie Post, who went with the more flamboyant - and costly - firm of Joseph Urban. Maitland died in Palm Beach, Florida on April 16, 1958.