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White House Historical Association
Book Launch and Discussion: “James Hoban: Designer and Builder of the White House”

The White House Historical Association invites you to the virtual launch of its newest publication James Hoban: Designer and Builder of the White House on Wednesday, March 17 at 5:30pm EST.

Join us on Facebook Live or the Association’s YouTube page where White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin will moderate a panel of scholars who will discuss the legacy of James Hoban the designer and builder of the President's House.

Merlo Kelly, a Design Fellow in the School of Architecture, University College Dublin, and Conservation Architect, will focus on the influences of Irish architecture known to Hoban in his youth and during his training in Dublin. Christopher Moran, Chairman of Co-operation Ireland, will discuss the design of Irish country houses and how Hoban envisioned the President’s House to follow in the country house tradition. And Andrew McCarthy, independent historian and scholar of architectural history, will reconstruct James Hoban’s lost original designs for the President’s House to examine the elements of Irish-Anglo architecture that we can see in the White House today.

About the Panelists

Christopher Moran

Christopher Moran is chairman of Co-operation Ireland, which promotes peace and reconciliation under the joint patronage of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the president of Ireland Michael D. Higgins. An entrepreneur and public figure, Dr. Moran has a strong commitment to national heritage, arts, health and wellbeing, faith, and international relations. With a lifetime passion for architectural heritage, he funded and oversaw the thirty-year restoration of Crosby Hall, the home of Richard III and Sir Thomas More and London’s most important surviving domestic medieval building. He has forensically restored the building and placed an important sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century fine and decorative arts collection back into its historical context there. In 2014, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Ulster for his peace work in Northern Ireland.

Merlo Kelly

Merlo Kelly is a Design Fellow in the School of Architecture, University College Dublin, and Grade 1 Conservation Architect with Lotts Architecture & Urbanism. She has a bachelor of architecture degree and master’s in urban and building conservation from UCD. Kelly’s research on Dublin’s architectural history has been widely disseminated in publications and lectures. In 2018, her studies on James Hoban were presented at the White House Historical Association symposium, “The United Kingdom and Ireland in the White House,” and also shared on the White House Historical Association’s podcast, 1600 Sessions, in the episode, “Exploring the Legacy of White House Architect James Hoban.” Recent publications include An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of Dublin North City, and the three-volume More Than Concrete Blocks: Dublin City’s Twentieth Century Buildings and Their Stories.

Andrew McCarthy

Andrew McCarthy is an independent historian and scholar of architectural history, with a particular focus on James Hoban’s career in the United States and Ireland. He graduated from Florida State University in 2013. In 2017 he spoke at the symposium organized by the James Hoban Societies of the United States and Ireland, on the topic of the reconstruction of the President’s House after the burning of 1814. He lives in Tallahassee.

About the Moderator

Stewart D. McLaurin

Stewart D. McLaurin, as president of the White House Historical Association since 2014, leads the Association’s non-profit and non-partisan mission to support conservation and preservation at the White House with non-government funding.

Under his leadership, the Association has expanded greatly in mission reach and impact; fundraising 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 35 years, 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.