Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Foster, John (1787?-1846)

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1043792Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 20 — Foster, John (1787?-1846)1889George Wardlaw Burnet

FOSTER, JOHN (1787?–1846), architect, son of a builder and surveyor to the corporation of Liverpool, was born at Liverpool about 1787. He received his early professional training in the office of his father, which was followed by some years' study in the office of the eminent London architect, Wyatt. He assisted Charles Robert Cockerell [q. v.] in his investigations into the remains of ancient architecture in Greece, and while in that country discovered the sculptures of the pediment of the temple of Athene at Ægina. In 1814 he returned to Liverpool, and for a short time carried on along with his brother their father's private practice in that city. He was soon, however, called to his father's post of architect and surveyor to the corporation, which he held until the passing of the Municipal Reform Act in 1832, when he retired into private life, and died on 21 Aug. 1846. He was the designer of many of the handsomest public buildings of his native city, particularly the custom house, which has been extolled, perhaps extravagantly, by the German traveller Kohl as ‘unquestionably one of the most magnificent pieces of architecture of our age;’ the school for the blind, the railway station in Lime Street, the St. John's market, and the churches of St. Michael and St. Luke.

[Imperial Dict. of Biography.]

G. W. B.