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White House Historical Association (White House Collection)

James Hoban's life is a memorable Irish-American success story. In his boyhood he learned the craft of carpenter and wheelwright, and became an architect by profession and a builder by trade. Hoban came to America with high ambitions, and designed and erected many buildings; but what keeps his name alive today arises from one special commission - he was the architect of the White House.

James Hoban, bas-relief attributed to the itinerant German-born artist John Christian Rauschner, c. 1800.

White House Historical Association

Much about Hoban's life and personality remains a mystery. In his own time he was not the legendary figure he has since become. His personal and business papers, mostly lost in a fire in the 1880s, survive only in scattered drawings, public and legal documents, and newspaper notices. These sources reveal what is known of the details of his life.

Hoban's contributions to the early growth and development of Washington, D.C., as architect, builder, mason, captain of a militia company, civic leader, and pillar of the Roman Catholic community, maintain his memory and reputation to this day.

Newell Convers Wyeth's 1932 poster for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company depicted Hoban indicating progress on the President's House to President Washington during an early summer day in 1798.

White House Historical Association

Hoban supervised the completion of the Capitol's North Wing between 1798 and 1800.

The White House Historical Association

The White House depicted by artist D. K. Stone on this joint issue first day cover.

The White House Historical Association

This first day cover featured a 22K gold replica of the stamp in a clear case.

White House Historical Association

Commemorative card by artist James Womer depicts an idealized portrait of a young Hoban.

The White House Historical Association

Artist D. K. Stone portrays a mature Hoban in traditional Irish clothing.

White House Historical Association

Imagining James Hoban -- William Bushong presents a portrait of James Hoban.

History and James Hoban -- William Seale presents a definitive account of the life and times of James Hoban.

James Hoban Lifetime Achievement Award -- Mr. Robert L. Breeden's acceptance remarks.

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