The House in the Cemetery Podcast Series

Episode 4: Master of his Craft: John Child and the Construction of the Woodlands

 HABS PA,51-PHILA,29- (sheet 8 of 29) - The Woodlands Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

HABS PA,51-PHILA,29- (sheet 8 of 29) - The Woodlands
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

In this episode, we will explore the life of John Child, a master builder working at the end of the eighteenth century into the early 1800s. John Child worked at The Woodlands, the estate of William Hamilton, and was integral to the building's late 1780's expansion. The episode will also take a quick look at other dwellings in Philadelphia during the life of John Child.

What we will discover:

  • The life of master craftsmen John Child 
  • Conflict between William Hamilton and John Child
  • Architecture of the Woodlands
  • “Common” dwellings of Philadelphia for perspective on Hamilton’s Woodlands

Primary Exposure
In this episode we will examine certain architectural features of the Woodlands, focusing on its intricate windows and doors.

Additional Links
The Woodlands, Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)
John Childs listed in Philadelphia Directories, 1813

Further Reading
Sterling Boyd, The Adam Style in America: 1770-1820.
Francis Puig and Michael Conforti, The American Craftsman and the European Tradition, 1620-1820.
Donna Rilling, Making Houses, Crafting Capitalism: Builders in Philadelphia, 1790-1850.


About the podcaster: William Christman is a graduate student at Villanova University studying history with a concentration in public history. He has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Moravian College with minors in political science and German.

 

This podcast is part of "The House in the Cemetery" project, part of the Villanova Public History Program. More information about this project can be found here.