century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

View all members

James Brite


Centurion, 1904–1942

Born 13 September 1865 in Pasquotank County, North Carolina

Died 6 February 1942 in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida

Proposed by William Rutherford Mead and George Willoughby Maynard

Elected 1 October 1904 at age thirty-nine

Century Memorial

Starting in Boston, James Brite came to New York while still a very young man to begin his architectural career in the office of McKim, Mead & White. There in those early, easygoing, and inspiring days he made a real success and, in a few years, struck out for himself. Thereafter, except for two occasions when he for a while combined with a firm and again with an architect, he worked entirely on his own and in a characteristically independent way. Whenever he got a job his method was to rent a room, do the work with the least possible help, cash in, and immediately go off to Europe or to Maine for six months or a year. Then returning to town he would successfully repeat the process. For the last fifteen years since he retired from the active practice of his profession he lived on an island off the Maine coast or in a house he built for himself in Florida, but still from time to time he would turn up here to sit and read and, with his quiet and charming friendliness, add greatly to the pleasure of the company.

Geoffrey Parsons
1942 Century Memorials