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Mar 01, 2021 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association's new publication: James Hoban: Designer and Builder of the White House will be released on March 17th, 2021, and is available for pre-order starting today. This anthology tells the story of James Hoban, the Irish immigrant who won the bid to design and build the President’s House. Scholars present the story of Hoban’s life, influences, and work, and include nearly 100 images of historic Dublin, Irish County Houses, the White House, and sites known to Hoban in the United States.

“There is only one thing that 44 American presidents all had in common, they lived in the house built by James Hoban, the White House. And the first president, George Washington, selected Hoban to design and build the White House,” states Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association. “James Hoban, an Irish American, was the first of many significant connections between the White House and Ireland since Hoban was selected by Washington in 1792.”

This is the second work in a series on the design and construction of the White House, published by the White House Historical Association. This publication 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.

Included in this anthology:

  • "James Hoban: Designer and Builder of the White House," by the late American historian, Dr. William Seale.
  • "The Building Line in Ireland," by Merlo Kelly, a Design Fellow in the School of Architecture, University College Dublin, and Conservation Architect.
  • "Eighteenth-Century Irish Landscape Design and Its Translation to America by James Hoban," by Finola O’Kane, professor of architecture at University College Dublin.
  • "Life as Lived in Irish Country Houses: Desart Court and Leinster House," by Christopher Moran, Chairman of Co-operation Ireland.
  • "James Hoban and George Washington Devise the President’s House," by Brian O’Connell, of O’Connell Mahon Architects in Dublin.
  • "James Hoban’s 1792 Designs for the President’s House," by Andrew McCarthy, independent historian and scholar of architectural history.
  • "Building the President’s House with Enslaved Labor: James Hoban and Slavery," by Dr. Matthew Costello, Vice President of the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History.
  • "James Hoban and the Early Roman Catholic Church in the Federal City of Washington," by Kristen Hunter Mason, Senior Editorial and Production Manager at the White House Historical Association.

Book Release Event:

On March 17th at 5:30 PM, Stewart McLaurin will host a virtual book launch for James Hoban: Designer and Builder of the White House with guests Merlo Kelly, Christopher Moran, and Andrew McCarthy. Learn more about this event here.

For more information on this book or to interview any of the authors listed above, please contact press@whha.org.

P.D.F. Resources

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About the white house historical association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.

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