Samuel Sloan (architect)

Samuel Sloan (March 7, 1815 – July 19, 1884)[1] was a Philadelphia-based architect and best-selling author of architecture books in the mid-19th century. He specialized in Italianate villas and country houses, churches, and institutional buildings. His most famous building—the octagonal mansion "Longwood" in Natchez, Mississippi—is unfinished; construction was abandoned during the American Civil War.

Samuel Sloan
"Longwood" (Haller Nutt mansion), Natchez, Mississippi (1859–1862, unfinished).
Born(1815-03-07)March 7, 1815
DiedJuly 19, 1884(1884-07-19) (aged 69)
  • Kirkbride's Insane Asylum, Philadelphia
  • Longwood, Natchez
  • Bartram Hall, Philadelphia (demolished)

Early life, marriage, and family


Born on March 7, 1815, in Honeybrook Township,[2] Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of William Sloan and Mary Kirkwood, Sloan trained as a carpenter and came to Philadelphia in the mid-1830s. He is said to have worked with John Haviland on Eastern State Penitentiary and with Isaac Holden on the former Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane.

Samuel Sloan married Mary Pennell in 1843. Their children were Ellwood Pennell, Howard L., Laura W., and Ada. He had three grandchildren by his eldest son, Ellwood. They were Maurice, Helen and Samuel A. Sloan.[3]



By 1851, Sloan had won a commission for the Delaware County, Pennsylvania, courthouse and jail, and designed Andrew Eastwick's villa "Bartram Hall" near the site of Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia. These successes prompted him to begin to list his vocation as "architect".


Clinton County Courthouse, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania (1869). Samuel Sloan & Addison Hutton, architects.

Sloan became a prolific author on architecture most notably for The Model Architect as well as City and Suburban Architecture and Sloan's Constructive Architecture (1859). In 1861, he wrote Sloan's Homestead Architecture and American Houses, and A Variety of Designs for Rural Buildings. Sloan also reached thousands of potential customers through the pages of Godey's Lady's Book, which began publishing his designs in 1852.

"The man who has a home," wrote Sloan in 1871, "feels a love for it a thankfulness for its possession and a proportionate determination to uphold and defend it against all invading influences. Such a man is, of necessity . . . a good citizen; for he has a stake in society."[4]

Economic downturns and work outside Philadelphia area


Economic downturns in the late 1850s as well as the American Civil War put a halt to his professional success and Sloan briefly left Philadelphia for New York in 1867. Important examples of his later work are found outside Pennsylvania, notably in Morganton, North Carolina's Western State Asylum for the Insane.[1] Sloan ended up building about 20 hospitals for the insane based on the "Kirkbride Plan System".[5]

Sloan enjoyed some later success in North Carolina, opening an office in Raleigh, where he died on July 19, 1884.[1] His body was buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery, Philadelphia, Lot 11 Sec 20.[2]

Associated architects


Architects associated with Sloan include: Charles M. Autenrieth (1828–1906), Edward Collins (1821–1902), Willis G. Hale (1848–1907), Addison Hutton (1834–1916), John S. Stewart and Thomas Webb Richards (1836–1911), Isaac Pursell (1853–1910), and Charles Balderston (1852–1924). his half-brother, Fletcher Sloan, was also an architect.[6]


Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Kirkbride's Insane Asylum) (1856–1859)
First Baptist Church of Germantown
Allison Mansion, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1860)
Lancaster County Courthouse, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (1852)
Forks of the Brandywine Presbyterian Church (1875)
George Allen house, Cape May, New Jersey (1863).
Winter Place, Montgomery, Alabama (1855)

Designated U.S. National Historic Landmarks:

Architectural work (partial listing)


Philadelphia buildings

  • "Bartram Hall", residence of Andrew M. Eastwick, 54th St. & Lindburgh Blvd., Philadelphia PA – 1850 (demolished)[8]
  • Workman’s Housing Rows (2), in association with Joseph Harrison, Jr., Philadelphia, PA - 1853
  • The Northern Home for Friendless Children, 23rd & Brown Streets, Philadelphia, PA - 1853
  • John Piper House, 129 Bethlehem Pike, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA - 1854
  • Fayette School, Old Bustleton and Welsh Rds., Bustleton, Philadelphia, PA - 1855
  • Joseph Harrison Jr. residence, 221 S. 18th St. (East Rittenhouse Square), Philadelphia, PA - 1855 (demolished)
  • Masonic Hall, 700 block Chestnut St., Philadelphia - 1855, burned 1886
  • Episcopal Church of the Savior, 38th & Chestnut Sts., Philadelphia, PA - 1856 (destroyed by fire 1902, rebuilt within surviving stone walls)[9]
  • Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital, Department for Males (Kirkbride's Insane Asylum), 49th & Market Sts., Philadelphia - 1856–1859
  • Polite Temple Baptist Church, Philadelphia, aka First Baptist Church of Germantown – c. 1850[10]
  • "Woodland Terrace", 501–519, 500–520 Woodland Terrace, Philadelphia, PA; suburban development built for Charles M. S. Leslie - 1861[11]
  • 400 S. 40th Street and 4000 and 4002 Pine Street in the Hamilton Family Estate - 1853–1863[12]
  • Allison Mansion, 4207 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 19104[13] - c.1860
  • Drexel Development Historic District - speculative rowhouses designed and built in the 1870s
  • Trinity Reformed Church, 1533-39 N. 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 1869-72[14]

Other Pennsylvania buildings


New Jersey and Delaware buildings


Buildings elsewhere



  • Samuel Sloan, The Model Architect, Volume One: A Series of Original Designs for Cottages, Villas, Suburban Residences, Etc. ISBN 0-923891-85-4
  • Samuel Sloan, The Model Architect, Vol. 2 ISBN 0-923891-86-2
  • Harold N. Cooledge, Samuel Sloan: Architect of Philadelphia, 1815–1884 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986) ISBN 0-923891-64-1
  • Samuel Sloan, City and Suburban Architecture (J. B. Lippincott & CO., Philadelphia, 1867)


  1. ^ a b c d e "Death of Mr. Samuel Sloan". No. 56. Raleigh News & Observer. 1884-07-20.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ U. S. Census, 1880
  4. ^ "Home Values are Down and Not Just at the Bank", an article by Alexander B. Hoffman, The Washington Post, July 2008.
  5. ^ Carla Yanni, The Architecture of Madness: Insane Asylums in the United States, Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2007, 117
  6. ^ Lane, Mills; Martin, Van Jones (1989). "fletcher+sloan"+architect Architecture of the Old South: Mississippi & Alabama. ISBN 9781558590083.
  7. ^ Elizabeth Cheek (July 1971). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Leigh Street Baptist Church" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. and Accompanying photo
  8. ^ "Bartram's Garden".
  9. ^ "Protestant Episcopal Church of the Saviour".
  10. ^ The Library Company of Philadelphia, Digital Collections
  11. ^ Woodland Terrace at Historic American Buildings Survey
  12. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Note: This includes George E. Thomas (June 1978). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Hamilton Family Estate" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-03.
  13. ^ "A few Philadelphia walking tours || Walnut Street Tour".
  14. ^ Beisert, Oscar (April 29, 2019). "Philadelphia Register of Historic Places Nomination: Trinity (German) Reformed Church, 1533-39 N. 7th Street" (PDF). Philadelphia Historical Commission. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  15. ^ "The Lancaster County Court House 1852-1855". Archived from the original on 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  16. ^ "History". Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  17. ^ "Slifer House". Archived from the original on 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
  18. ^ "The Buildings". Archived from the original on 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  19. ^ "Greystone Park State Hospital - Kirkbride Buildings".
  20. ^ Scharf, John Thomas (1888). "History of Delaware : 1609–1888: Local history".
  21. ^ "The Southern Ohio Lunatic Asylum". Archived from the original on 2006-02-19. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
  22. ^ "10 endangered Alabama plantation homes, plus 15 mansions lost to history". 2014-06-05.
  23. ^ "Antebellum Mansions Open Year-Round". Archived from the original on 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  24. ^ "Wilmington Chamber of Commerce (N.C.). Wilmington Up-to-Date: The Metropolis of North Carolina Graphically Portrayed. Compiled under the Auspices of the Chamber of Commerce. Also a series of Comprehensive Sketches of Representative Business Enterprises".
  25. ^ "Press Release March, 2008". Archived from the original on 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  26. ^ Connecticut Valley Hospital, National Register of Historic Places application, August 29, 1985,
  27. ^ Esperdy, Gabrielle; Kingsley, Karen, eds. (2012). "Temple of Israel [Wilmington, North Carolina]". SAH Archipedia. Charlottesville: Society of Architectural Historians. Retrieved December 26, 2023.
  28. ^ "North Carolina Executive Mansion-- Raleigh: A Capital City: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary".
  29. ^ Seifert, Laura (October 1985). "Historic home filled with special touches". MidAtlantic Antiques Magazine. II (10).
  30. ^ The NCSU Libraries. "Sloan, Samuel (1815–1884) : NC Architects & Builders : NCSU Libraries". Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  31. ^ Works of the North Carolina Preservation Fund Inc. (June 1979). "This Private Agency Stays Busy Rescuing Valuable Old Structures". We the People of North Carolina. XXXVII (6).
  32. ^ "Memorial Hall".
  33. ^ websites for these buildings