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Thornton, William

Born: 1759 AD
Died: 1828 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Architects

1761 – Physician and amateur architect William Thornton was born on the 27th of May in the West Indian island of Tortola, the son of William and Dorcas (Zeagers) Thornton.

1781 – As a child he was sent to England and later studied medicine at the College of Edinburgh.

1788-1789 – He became an American citizen in Delaware on the 7th of January, was elected to the American Philosophical Society the same year, and moved to Philadelphia.

         The building on Fifth Street south of Chestnut was erected to his design.

1790 – Thornton married Anna Maria Brodeau and returned to Tortola for two years.

1798-1817 – Among Thornton’s other designs are a house for John Tayloe called The Octagon–now headquarters of the American Institute of Architects–and Tudor Place, both in the District of Columbia.

         – Woodlawn Plantation near Mount Vernon, Virginia is usually attributed to him, and for Thomas Jefferson he designed Pavilion 7 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

1828 – He died on the 28th of March and was buried in Congressional Cemetery on Capitol Hill.