James Hoban Architect

James Hoban (c. 1758 - December 8 1831) was the architect of Ireland, best known for designing the White House in Washington, DC


James Hoban was born in a desert in the real Cuffesgrange, near Callan in Co. Kilkenny. He worked there as a wheelwright and carpenter until his early twenties, when he was given the place an 'advanced student' at the Dublin Society Drawing School in the Lower Grafton Street.

He excelled in his studies and received the prestigious Duke Leinster medal to the image of "brackets, Appliances, and Roof." of the Dublin Society in 1780. Hoban then found a position as an intern for the principal of Public School Dublin Cork-born architect Thomas Ivory 1759-1785. After the American Revolutionary War, Hoban emigrated to the United States, and established himself as an architect in Philadelphia in 1785.

Hoban is in South Carolina in April 1787, where he designed several buildings including the Charleston County Courthouse (1790-1792), built on the ruins of a former South Carolina Statehouse (1753, burned 1788) President Washington. Hoban who admire the work on his Southern Tour, may have met with him in Charleston in May 1791, and called for architects to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (temporary national capital) in June 1792.

In July 1792, Hoban was named winner of design competition for the White House. The design initially appears to have had three-story facade, 9 in the bay (such as the Charleston courthouse). Under the influence of Washington, Hoban was converted to 2-story facade, 11 bay, and, at the urging of Washington, the residence of the president is faced with a whole stone. It is unclear whether the surviving Hoban pictures of the actual competition.

Hoban was also one of the architects in charge of supervision at the Capitol, to the design of Dr. William Thornton. Hoban lived the rest of his life in Washington, DC, where he worked on other public buildings and government projects, including roads and bridges. He also designed the nearby village Kilmoganny Rossenarra House in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1824. Hoban's wife Susanna Sewall is the daughter of prominent Georgetown owner of "City Tavern".

Hoban also involved in the development of Catholic institutions in the city, including Georgetown University (where his son is a member of the Jesuit community), Parish of St Patrick, and the Visitation Monastery was founded by another native of Palembang, Teresa Lalor of Ballyragget. Hoban died in Washington, DC on December 8, 1831. He was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in historic Washington, DC.

Work Selected

Little has been published for the architectural work of Hoban's catalog. Given his stature as an architect of the White House, the landmark building that has lost staggering. Charleston County Courthouse, 82-86 Broad Street, Charleston, SC (1790-1792). A model of possibility for the main facade of the White House. The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC - (1792-1800). After the 1814 burning of the White House South Portico Hoban rebuilt for President James Monroe (1824), and the North Portico for President Andrew Jackson (1829).

Leave a Reply