Dr William Thornton

William Thornton

  • English

Dr William Thornton was an amateur architect who is honored as the first architect because his design for the US Capitol was accepted by President George Washington in 1793. He received $500 and a building lot in the city of Washington for his composition. He held no government position as a result of winning the architectural competition.

Thornton was born on 20 May 20 1759, in the British West Indies, and received a medical degree from the University of Aberdeen. He became an American citizen in 1787 and moved to Washington in 1794, when President Washington appointed him one of the city's commissioners. In 1802 President Jefferson appointed him head of the Patent Office, an office he held until his death in 1828. - Architects of the Capitol


Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Architect Prospect Hill Long Green
1759/05/20 Born at Jost van Dyke, West Indies Born Dr William Thornton's Birthday
1793/09/18 George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building. Architect United States Capitol Washington, DC
1799/00/00 Dr William Thornton designs The Octagon Architect The Octagon Washington, DC
1802/08/00 Central portion of Riversdale Mansion is completed and the Stiers move. Architect Riversdale Riverdale Park, MD
1805/00/00 Built 1800-1805 Architect Woodlawn Plantation Mt Vernon, VA
1815/00/00 Architect Tudor Place Washington, DC
1815/00/00 Roman tonic portico added after George H Burwell (1799-1873), son of Nathaniel Burwell, inherited the estate in 1814. Ascribed to Architect Carter Hall Millwood, VA
1828/03/28 Died Died
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