1810 - 1865

John Notman

Immigrating to Philadelphia from Scotland in the 1830s, Notman was trained as a builder but focused his work on the design of landscapes and landscape features in the emerging Picturesque style. At Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery, he designed the chapel, a grotto, and funerary monuments. His estate work drew the attention and praise of Andrew Jackson Downing in his 1842 Treatise. Clients in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania region commissioned Notman to design homes in a variety of styles, from Classical to Georgian, Gothic Revival or Tuscan, which he invariably sited within a Picturesque landscape. Near Trenton, New Jersey, Notman designed the 135-acre country estate Ellarslie for Henry McCall. In a number of examples near Princeton, Notman’s architecture was combined with Downing landscapes. His institutional commissions included a design for Princeton’s Theological Seminary and churches throughout the area. Although his plan for Cincinnati’s Spring Grove Cemetery was rejected, Notman created the design for Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery as well as the Italianate entrance gate to Mount Vernon Cemetery in Philadelphia, one of his final works. A simple granite shaft marks his grave at Laurel Hill.