Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MacARTHUR, John, architect, born in Bladenock, Wigtonshire, Scotland, 13 May, 1823. He came to the United States at the age of ten, studied architectural drawing, and served as a foreman under his uncle in the construction of the Pennsylvania hospital. In 1848 he was appointed by the city of Philadelphia architect and superintendent of the new house of refuge. During the civil war he was architect in charge of the hospitals and other government buildings in the Philadelphia district. In 1869 he was selected by competition to design and construct the new city hall in Philadelphia, on which he is still (1887) engaged, having given up his private business in order to devote his entire time to this structure. In 1871 he was appointed by the United States architect of the new post-office in Philadelphia, which was built and furnished entirely under his direction. In the same year he was appointed superintendent of repairs, having charge of all government buildings in Philadelphia. In 1874 he was twice offered the post of supervising architect of the United States treasury, but declined. In 1875 he was commissioned by the government to examine and report on the construction of the custom-house building in Chicago. In 1885 he was appointed by the city of Boston to select plans for the new court-house. Among the buildings designed and built by him are the naval hospitals at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Annapolis, M d., and Mare island, California" the state hospitals for the insane at Danville and Warren, Pennsylvania" Lafayette college, Easton, Pennsylvania" the Continental, Girard, and Lafayette hotels, Philadelphia" and the " Public Ledger" building, Philadelphia, and the town and country residences of George W. Childs.
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