white house historical association > james hoban : architect of the white house
Life and Work in Charleston, South Carolina

When James Hoban set sail for America, and where he landed, are not certain. By 1785, Hoban was advertising his services in a Philadelphia newspaper: “Any gentleman who wishes to build in an elegant style, may hear of a person properly calculated for that purpose who can execute the Joining and Carpenter's business in the modern taste. James Hoban.” Two years later, Hoban was in Charleston, South Carolina, with his brothers Philip and Joseph; he lived there for at least six more years.

We know little of Hoban's life in South Carolina except that he formed a partnership with carpenter Pierce Purcell and became well known among the gentry for his ability as an architect and builder. He was a founding vestryman in 1791 of Saint Mary's Church, the first Catholic church established in the Carolinas. Among Hoban's references were some of the most prominent citizens of Charleston: Henry Laurens, a close friend of President George Washington; fellow Irishman Aedanus Burke; and American Revolutionary War General William Moultrie.

Hoban's name has been connected to public buildings and plantation houses in the Charleston area, most notably the historic Charleston County Courthouse and the William Seabrook house. A notable building in Charleston actually documented as a Hoban design was a 1200-seat theater on Savage's Green that no longer survives, though part of its foundations may still be observed at the junction of Broad and New streets.


whha > james hoban : life and work in charleston, south carolina | hoban's workshop

whha > james hoban
whha > james hoban : introduction
whha > james hoban: imagining james hoban
whha > james hoban : irish roots
whha > james hoban : life and work in charleston, south carolina
whha > james hoban : building the president's house
whha > james hoban : rebuilding the president's house
whha > james hoban : public architect and developer
whha > james hoban : civic contributions and family
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