James Hoban, Architect of the White House, was born in Kilkenny, Ireland. In 1981 a stamp was jointly issued in his honour by the Irish Post Office and the United States Postal Service. It was the first occasion that the Irish Post Office did a joint stamp issue with a foreign postal service. Called the James Hoban Commemoration Stamp its design was the same for both countries.
James Hoban was born in Kilkenny 1758. He grew up on an estate of the Earl of Desart in Cuffesgrange near Callan, County Kilkenny. Until his early 20’s, he worked on the estate as a wheelwright and carpenter. From there he moved to Dublin to study at the Dublin Society’s Drawing School on Lower Grafton Street where he excelled at his studies. Having completed his studies in 1779 he worked on various building projects in Dublin including Dublin City Hall. He is credited with the building of Belcamp House in Dublin. The building has been described as a mini Whitehouse complete with ‘oval office’. Belcamp House later became Belcamp College which closed in 2004.
By the year 1785 Hoban, having emigrated to the United States, had established himself as an architect in Philadelphia. He later moved to Charleston South Carolina where he designed both private and public buildings. The courthouse in Charleston which he remodelled form the old colonial state house is still in use today.
James Hoban won a competition to design the residence of the President of the United States now called the White House. He oversaw its construction from 1793 to 1800. During the war of 1812 the building was attacked and burned by the British who had invaded from their base on Ireland Island in the Caribbean. Hoban supervised the restoration work which was completed in 1817. The White House is modelled on Leinster House in Dublin, a fact acknowledged by President John F Kennedy in his speech to the Oireachtas in 1963.
Irish artist Ron Mercer and American designer Walter Richards collaborated to design a stamp in honour of James Hoban. A dedication ceremony announcing the release of the stamp was attended by the then First Lady Nancy Regan and the then Irish Ambassador to the United States Sean Donlan.
The dedication ceremony for the James Hoban Commemoration Stamp took place in the White House, Washington DC, in the year 1981 On This Day.
The White House Northside by Glyn Lowe Photoworks. on 2012-05-31 15:44:20
Image from page 34
Photo by Internet Archive Book Images