HPS Insights

Insights: A Conversation with White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin

August 26, 2021
2 min read

To people around the world, the White House is a potent symbol of American democracy. In this episode of HPS Insights, Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association and author of “James Hoban: Designer and Builder of the White House,” joins HPS Partner Michael Steel to discuss his work to preserve the history of one of America’s most renowned landmarks and the overlooked story of the man who designed it.

Stewart explains how James Hoban’s story foreshadows the American Dream: As a poor Irish immigrant, Hoban came to America looking for religious freedom and a better career. He designed the White House and worked with a diverse team of builders, including enslaved workers, Scottish stonemasons, and others. Today, Hoban’s work is known far better than he is himself. Stewart’s book offers fascinating insights into Hoban’s life and showcases his work beyond the White House.

Michael and Stewart also discuss the work of the White House Historical Association, whose 60th anniversary is this year. Stewart has collaborated with three administrations to preserve and promote White House history, each one leaving a lasting mark on the White House. Finally, Stewart explains how listeners can get involved with the Association’s mission.

You can listen to the full conversation here. Subscribe to the HPS Podcast Channel on your favorite podcast service for more insights.

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