John Haviland

John Haviland

Haviland, John, 1792-1852, American architect, b. Philadelphia. Haviland was noted as a pioneer in prison architecture. His design for the Pennsylvania Eastern State Penitentiary was imitated internationally and heralded prison reform in the 19th cent. Haviland's prisons were characterized by light, airy cells occupied by a single inmate; his designs were soon outmoded by the rise of prison populations.
John Haviland (1792-1852) was an architect from Philadelphia who was considered to be a major influence in the American Neo-Classical architecture and one of the most notable architects working from Philadelphia in the 19th century.

Born 15 December 1792, at Gundenham, near Taunton, Somerset, England, Haviland was apprenticed in 1811 to a London architect. in 1815 he went on to unsuccessfully pursue an appointment to the Russian Imperial Corps of Engineers. While in Russia, however, he met George von Sonntag and John Quincy Adams, who encouraged Haviland to work in the United States. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1816 and soon established himself as one of the few professional architects in the city.

By 1818 Haviland produced a book: "Builder's Assistant", which appeared in three volumes over several years. This publication was one of the earliest architectural pattern books written and published in North America, and likely the first to include Greek and Roman classical orders.

In part due to "The Builder's Assistant", Haviland began to secure what would be his most important commissions in Philadelphia including the Eastern State Penitentiary, the Pennsylvania Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb (now Dorrance Hamilton Hall for Philadelphia’s University of the Arts (Philadelphia)) and the original Franklin Institute building, (now housing Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia).

During this time, Haviland unwisely speculated in his own projects, including commercial arcades in Philadelphia and New York as well as an amusement park. He was eventually forced into bankruptcy, tarnishing his professional reputation in Philadelphia. Elsewhere, however, Haviland's reputation as a designer of prisons brought him important commissions including the New Jersey Penitentiary, The Tombs in New York City, and designs for prisons in Missouri, Rhode Island, and Arkansas.

Haviland was an Honorary and Corresponding Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Haviland died March 28, 1852 in Philadelphia and was buried in the family vault at St. Andrews Church in Philadelphia.

Architectural Work - Partial Listing

  • Old City Hall (1790-91) — 5th and Chestnut (alterations and additions) - 1820
  • Eastern State Penitentiary (1821) — 20th and Fairmount
  • Saint Andrews Episcopal Church (1822) (Now the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. George) — 256 S. 8th, Philadelphia, PA
  • Pennsylvania Institute for the Deaf and Dumb (1824) — Broad and Pine (today The University of the Arts)
  • Franklin Institute (1825) — 15 S. 7th St. (today the Atwater Kent Museum)
  • Walnut Street Theater (1827) — 9th and Walnut (oldest theater in the U.S.)
  • The Tombs (Hall of Justice) in NYC (1835-38)
  • Pittsburgh Penitentiary rebuilding (Western Penitentiary)—where he introduced the radiating plan for prisons – 1833-36
  • US Naval Asylum at Norfolk VA
  • Missouri State Penitentiary, Jefferson City, MO - It opened in 1836 and closed in 2004.
  • Rhode Island State Penitentiary
  • The (Old) Allegheny Jail, Pittsburgh, PA
  • The Berks Jail, Reading, PA - 1848
  • The Lancaster County Jail, 625 East King Street, Lancaster, PA – completed 1851
  • US Mint, Philadelphia-
  • State Insane Asylum, Harrisburg, PA
  • York County Hall, York, PA
  • Newark County Hall, Newark, NJ
  • Miner's Bank, Pottsville, PA (1830–1—demolished)
  • New Jersey State Penitentiary, near Trenton (1832–6)
  • Essex County Court House and Jail, New Street, Newark, NJ (1836–8) (derelict and in need of saving)
  • Boston Row (built 1830, John Haviland, architect). North west corner of Chestnut and 12th Streets, Philadelphia
  • First Presbyterian Church, corner of Seventh and Locust Streets, facing Washington Square. 1820-1822.
  • The Philadelphia Arcade, (the first American enclosed shopping gallery) 1827

External links

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