Full Name Charles Adams Platt
Born 16 October 1861 in New York (Manhattan), New York
Died 12 September 1933 in Cornish, New Hampshire
Buried East Cemetery, Manchester, Connecticut
Elected 4 June 1887 at age twenty-five
Archivist’s Note: President of the Century Association, 1928–1930. Son of John H. Platt; father of Geoffrey Platt, Roger Platt, and William Platt.
Among the Centurions who will always be associated with the traditions of reading room and dinner table, Charles Adams Platt was a distinctive figure. That was not because he led the conversation. It was his quietly whimsical participation in the talk, the sense of thoroughly likeable companionship, which ensured a welcome when he joined the group. Apart from recollection of a congenial spirit, Platt’s place in the Century’s remembrance will be, first, as the ninth in its notable list of presidents, then for his altogether characteristic work in art and architecture. To Platt’s imaginative mind, those two fields of creative endeavor were so closely akin that his activities constantly alternated between them. His paintings have their place on the walls of numerous public galleries; his work as etcher won him a place among the founders of the American school of that branch of art. But the sense of beauty tempered in a more unusual way his architectural conceptions. One of his fellow-Centurions has described him as a constructive artist “for whom a public building or a private house had to have organic life,” and some of our most graceful public buildings perpetuate his imaginative spirit.
Platt had none of the ostentation that sometimes comes with high professional repute. Along with his unfailing kindliness of manner, modesty regarding even his proficiency in art was part of his character. He never forced into conversation his own ideas or his own achievement; indeed, his personal contribution to the talk, even when art was the topic of discussion, was usually such that fellow-Centurions who did not know him may have supposed themselves to be listening to a self-restrained amateur. But all such hesitancy vanished when his imagination applied itself to the artistic task before him.
Alexander Dana Noyes
1934 Century Association Yearbook