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John Foster

(c. 1759—1827) architect and engineer


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(c. 1759–1827). English architect. As Surveyor to the Corporation of Liverpool from 1790, he became a powerful figure in that city's architectural concerns, especially after he added the Surveyorship of the Docks to his portfolio. He built many well-mannered houses in Liverpool as well as most of the late-Georgian public buildings, including the Exchange (now Town Hall) with James Wyatt from 1789 to 1811, his most impressive work. Foster's achievements have been eclipsed somewhat by those of his second son, John Foster (c. 1787–1846), a pupil of Jeffry and (probably) James Wyatt. In 1809 Foster jun. travelled abroad, and worked with Haller, Jakob Linckh (1786–1841), and C. R. Cockerell on excavations in Greece before returning to Liverpool in 1816. In 1824 he succeeded his father as Architect and Surveyor to Liverpool Corporation, designing many of the most significant buildings in that city, mostly in a competent Greek Revival style, many of which have been destroyed. St James's Cemetery, Liverpool (1823–4—partly cleared, and comprehensively vandalized), laid out in a disused quarry, was one of his most distinguished designs, and included the surviving Doric mortuary-chapel, entrance arch, superin-tendent's house, and mausoleum (1834) of William Huskisson, MP (1770–1830), who was killed at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (15 September 1830). His greatest work was Liverpool Custom House (1828–35—destroyed in the 1939–45 war).

From A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Architecture.


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