Introduction to The Model Architect by Sam Sloan

Introduction to The Model Architect by Sam Sloan
If you want to get an idea of the importance of this book, just take a walk around the older sections of your town and take a look at the single family dwellings there.
What you will see, over and over again, is buildings that look exactly like the drawings and designs in this book.
That is because this book was the most popular source for designs for buildings throughout the latter part of the 19th century. Starting from the date of its first publication in 1852, hundreds and indeed thousands of buildings were built all across America copied directly from the designs and floor plans in this book.
Even today, buildings could be built and perhaps are still being built based upon these floor plans and designs.
There are hundreds of drawings in this book, each by Samuel Sloan himself. These individual drawings were first published starting in the 1840s and were then combined into a book. Volume One was published in 1852 and Volume Two in 1853. Both books were reprinted many times, with changes, additions and modifications.
Samuel Sloan (born March 7, 1815, died July 19, 1884) was the leading Philadelphia-based architect of the mid-nineteenth century. Born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, he has been characterized by his biographer, Harold N. Cooledge, as "brash, opportunistic, inventive, a quick learner and a driving worker who was hungry for success and who had, throughout his life, an abiding belief in America's destiny." Sloan came to Philadelphia in the mid-1830s and is said to have worked on the Eastern State Penitentiary and the Pennsylvania Hospital for Mental and Nervous Diseases. At first, he listed himself as a carpenter in the Philadelphia City Directory. However, he styled himself an architect from 1851, after winning commissions for the Delaware County, Pennsylvania, courthouse and jail in 1849 and an Italianate villa on the site of Bartram's Gardens in Philadelphia in 1850-51.
Early in his career, Sloan began to publish the series of books that would make him the most prolific American author on architecture of the mid-nineteenth century. The Model Architect began to appear in 1851 in parts and was published as bound volumes by E. S. Jones & Co., Philadelphia, in 1852 (volume 1) and 1853 (volume 2) later editions appeared in 1860, 1868, and 1873.
He also wrote City and Suburban Architecture (Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1859; later editions in 1867 and 1873) was followed by Sloan's Constructive Architecture (Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1859: later editions in 1866 and 1873), Sloan's Homestead Architecture (Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1861: later editions in 1867 and 1870), and American Houses, a Variety of Designs for Rural Buildings (Philadelphia. Ashmead, 1861: later edition, 1868). In July of 1868, Sloan began to issue The Architectural Review and American Builders' Journal, the first architectural periodical to be published in the United States. However, it ceased publication in 1870 after only three volumes. Sloan reached thousands of potential customers through the pages of Lady's Book which began to publish his designs in 1852.
Throughout the 1850s, Sloan was the architect of hospitals and schools. He also designed buildings in Alabama, but managed to make it back to Yankee Territory prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. A political scandal relating to the Philadelphia City Hall competitions in 1865 caused problems in his career, especially since so many of his designs had been based on contracts awarded by the city, as he was the city's favorite architect.
In 1867, Sloan moved to New York. However, he soon returned to Philadelphia and began "The Architectural Review".
Sloan had considerable difficulty reestablishing his Philadelphia practice in the 1870s. His entry in the first competition for the design of the Centennial Exhibition of 1873 only won second prize, and thus was never built. Therefore, he moved to North Carolina and started building there. He designed the Western State Asylum for the Insane at Morganton (1875) and was awarded other commissions in North Carolina, until he died in Raleigh in 1884 in the middle of a construction project.
SLOAN, Samuel, architect, born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, 7 March, 1815 ; died in Raleigh, North Carolina, 19 July, 1884. He established himself in Philadelphia, and designed many important buildings, among them the Blockley hospital for the insane in that city, and the state insane hospital at Montgomery, Alabama He conducted the "Architectural Review," beginning in 1868, and published " City and Suburban Architecture" (Philadelphia, 1859) : "Constructive Architecture " (1859); "Model Architect" (1860) ; and "Designs for Rural Buildings" (1861).
I first became aware of this book in 1986 when I was in the New York Public Library and I decided to search to see if they had any books written by me, Sam Sloan.
I entered my name, Samuel Sloan, into the library search engine and up popped a book entitled "Samuel Sloan: Architect of Philadelphia 1815-1884" by Harold N. Cooledge.
I had never heard of this book or of this person before, so naturally I requested that the library let me see this book.
The introduction contained the family history of Samuel Sloan. What immediately popped out of the pages was that Samuel Sloan had a son named Howard Sloan (1849-1875) and a brother named Wesley Sloan (1821-1904). My name is Samuel Howard Sloan and my brother is named Creighton Wesley Sloan. Also, our grandfather, Howard Creighton Sloan (1873-1940), was born in Philadelphia.
These coincidences of names and place convinced me that we were related to that Samuel Sloan, the Architect of Philadelphia.
Accordingly, I wrote a letter to Harold N. Cooledge, who is a Alumni Professor of Art and Architectural History at Clemsen University in South Carolina. He replied immediately and said that he agreed that we were almost certainly related. He wrote that he had placed my letter in the university archives pertaining to Samuel Sloan, the Architect.
Since then, my DNA has been tested. My DNA has been shown to be a nearly perfect match with Ronald Scott Sloan, the grand nephew of Samuel Sloan, the Architect. Here is a comparison of our DNA alleles.
http://www.familytreedna.com/public/sloan/index.aspx?fixed_columns=on
I am number 13599. Here are the results of my 37-allele marker test.
13599 Sloan R1b1 1323141011151212121313291891011112515193013131517111019231615181838391212
What this means is that I am a member of the R1b1 haplogroup. This is the most common group for Ireland and England. However, there is one other Sloan who has almost exactly the same generic profile as me. I did research and found that his name is Ronald Scott Sloan. He is number 39388. He is presently number 18 on the list. He died recently.
I researched his genealogy and found that he is a descendant of William Sloan, who was born in 1780 in Philadelphia. William Sloan was married twice and had ten children, eight sons and two daughters. The most famous of his sons was Samuel Sloan (1815-1884), known as "The Architect of Philadelphia" and author of the book "The Model Architect", which I am reprinting. I have long suspected that I am a relative of that Samuel Sloan, because he had a son named Howard Sloan and my name is Samuel Howard Sloan and he had a brother named Wesley Sloan and my brother is named Creighton Wesley Sloan.
What we have is a similarity of names, the fact that all of these people lived in Philadelphia and a near-perfect DNA match. This leads me to the conclusion that one of the seven other sons of the William Sloan who was born in Philadelphia in 1780 could be my great-great grandfather.
My great-grand father was Creighton Sloan (1842-1916). The 1860 Census shows Creighton Sloan living in the 19th Ward of Philadelphia with John Keitty or Reitty and his wife and two children in House 213 Family 236. The other possibility is that I am descended from a different William Sloan who was born in Philadelphia in 1798 and was married to his cousin Mary Sloan born 1806. They had ten children and were likely the cousins of the other William Sloan. It is also possible that the William Sloan born in 1780 or his son, Wiliam Sloan Jr., is the same person as the William Sloan born in 1798 and that he had two families.
The DNA match plus the similarity in names and the same place, Philadelphia, virtually proves that I am a relative of the Samuel Sloan who is the author of this book.
The biography of Samuel Sloan, the Architect of Philadelphia, is published in several places including the "Famous Americans" website: http://www.famousamericans.net/samuelsloan /
"SLOAN, Samuel, architect, born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, 7 March, 1815 ; died in Raleigh, North Carolina, 19 July, 1884. He established himself in Philadelphia, and designed many important buildings, among them the Blockley hospital for the insane in that city, and the state insane hospital at Montgomery, Alabama He conducted the "Architectural Review," beginning in 1868, and published " City and Suburban Architecture" (Philadelphia, 1859) : "Constructive Architecture " (1859); "Model Architect" (1860) ; and "Designs for Rural Buildings" (1861)."
Samuel Sloan, the architect, and his family are buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia, Lot 11 Sec 20. I have visited his gravesite. It is located to the left side as you walk in, almost to the edge of the cemetery.
Another factor is that there seems to be artistic talent in my family. When I was a kid, I never attempted anything more than a simple stick drawing, but two of my children are professional artists and both have BA degrees in Fine Art from the State University of New York at Purchase. Both graduated from the New York High School of Art and Design. My son, Peter Sloan, has won numerous art awards, competitions and scholarships, including a scholarship to Cooper Union. He is also a rated chess master. Perhaps there is an artistic gene in my DNA.
                            Sam Sloan                             May 18, 2007
ISBN 0-923891-85-4 978-0-923891-85-5 The Model Architect, Vol. 1
ISBN 0-923891-86-2 978-0-923891-86-2 The Model Architect, Vol. 2
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