James Hoban: Designer & Builder of The White House


Stewart D. McLaurin

Regular price €40.00

The White House Historical Association, 2021
Hardback, 212 pages

When considering the design of the President’s House yet to be built in the emerging Federal City of Washington, President George Washington asked after a young Irish builder he had learned of while visting in Charleston, South Carolina.

Soon James Hoban appeared in Washington’s Philadelphia office with his credentials. By 1792, Hoban was at work on the building site, having won the competition for the design of the President’s House. Washington had placed him in charge of the entire project, with all carpentry, stonemasonry, and brickwork under his supervision. The resulting structure, accomplished in time for President John Adams to take residence in November 1800, fulfilled Washington’s vision and is today one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Yet of the millions of people who know the White House are likely to find Hoban’s work more memorable than his name. With this anthology, the world’s most knowledgeable scholars on James Hoban introduce us to him, presenting the story of his life, influences, and work.

The essays are followed by an illustrated catalog of nearly 100 images of historic Dublin, Irish Country Houses, the White House, and sites known to James Hoban in America. This is the second book in a series on the design and construction of the White House published but the White House Historical Association; it follows A White House of Stone: The First Ideal in American Architecture, which focused on the work of the Scottish stonemasons. The third book in the series will focus on the enslaved people who built the White House.

Featured essays by: Dr. William Seale, Merlo Kelly, Dr. Finola O’Kane, Christopher Moran, Brian O’Connell, Andrew McCarthy, Dr. Matthew Costello, and Kristen Hunter Mason.

Stewart D. McLaurin has served as president of the White House Historical Association since 2014. He leads the Association’s nonprofit and nonpartisan mission to support conservation and preservation at the White House with nongovernment funding. Under his leadership, the Association has expanded greatly in mission, reach, and impact; fund-raising results; educational public programming and award-winning publications that teach the story of White House history; and related retail offerings inspired by history. For more than thirty-five years, McLaurin has held leadership roles with national nonprofit and higher education organizations such as the American Red Cross, Georgetown University, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.