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August 7, 2008

Memorial to Irish architect of White House unveiled in Kilkenny

hoban_jamesA memorial to the Kilkenny-born architect of the White House, James Hoban, is being unveiled this evening, 100 yards from his birthplace near Callan. The structure, commemorating 250 years since the architect’s birth, has taken just nine days to build. The project began when the Thom Penney, president of the American Institute of Architects, came to Ireland in 2004 and spotted the plaque to Hoban and decided that it wasn’t really fitting memorial to the man who designed the White House in 1792. He won the commission in a design competition judged by George Washington. Penney, whose colleague Dennis Blaschke is a decedent of Hogan’s, gathered together people to create more substantial memorial. These included Kathleen Lane of the AIA and James Hoban Society, and Travis Price who runs the Spirit of Place masters programme at the Catholic University of America, in Washington. This involves architecture students designing and building monuments across the world, including five in Mayo, that take the essence of Modernism and mix it with the “cultural and mythical emotions at the base of us all” to create “archaeology of tomorrow”.

The Irish Times

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