79 James Hoban – White House Architect

On this episode of the Irish History Show we were joined by the president of the White House Historical Association, Stewart D. McLaurin, to discuss the life of the White House architect, James Hoban.

James Hoban was born in 1755 in Kilkenny and trained at the Dublin Society Drawing School in Grafton Street in Dublin. Following the American Revolutionary War he emigrated to the United States and worked as an architect in Philadelphia and South Carolina. In 1792 Hoban won a competition to design the president’s residence in the new federal capital.

On the show we discussed the work of the White House Historical Association; the new anthology published by the association on the life of Hoban, his education in Dublin and the type of architecture he would have seen and worked on; the Irish influences on his design for the White House; his ownership of slaves and the role of slave labour in building the White House; and Hoban’s membership of the Freemasons.

Stewart D. McLaurin has been president of the White House Historical Association since 2014. He leads the Association’s non-profit and non-partisan mission to support conservation and preservation at the White House with non-government funding. Mr. McLaurin has held leadership roles with national non-profit and higher education organizations such as the American Red Cross, Georgetown University, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

James Hoban: Designer and Builder of the White House is available here.

Intro / Outro music “Sliabh” from Aislinn. Licensed under creative commons from the free music archive

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