A memorial garden has been opened to commemorate the Irish-born architect who designed and built the White House in Washington DC. More than 20 White House officials travelled to the opening of the James Hoban Memorial Arbour at Desart, Cuffesgrange, Co Kilkenny, yesterday. “It’s incredible that you can travel 4,000 miles from the White House and find such a fitting tribute to a man whose contribution to the early growth of the American capital was so immense,” said curator at the White House Bill Allman. Originally from Kilkenny, James Hoban studied architecture in Dublin before emigrating to Philadelphia in 1785 where he established himself as an architect. Hoban’s winning entry to build a presidential house in Washington DC at the behest of George Washington was based on Dublin’s Leinster House.