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Joseph Aloysius Hansom

(1803—1882) architect and inventor of the safety cab


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(1803–82). English architect, he entered into partnership with Edward Welch (1806–68), and designed Birmingham Town Hall (1830–4), a large peripteral Corinthian Roman temple on a high rusticated podium, completed in 1849 by Charles Edge (c. 1801–67), who went on to become a leading Birminghan architect (although his only important design was The Crescent, Filey, Yorks. (1835–8)). Bankrupted by the Birmingham venture (1834), the partnership was dissolved and Hansom turned to invention (he designed the Hansom Cab) and business (he founded The Builder in 1842). Welch practised in Liverpool (1837–49), and patented various heating-systems for houses (1850 and 1865). Hansom resumed architectural practice, designing the robustly Classical Particular Baptist Chapel, Belvoir Street, Leicester (1845), now in secular use and known as the ‘Pork-Pie’, but is better known for his Gothic RC churches, including St Walburga, Preston, Lancs. (1850), the Holy Name of Jesus, Manchester (1869–71), and St Philip Neri, now the Cathedral of Our Lady and St Philip Howard, Arundel, Sussex (1870–3).

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

Subjects: Architecture.


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