Joseph Miller Huston

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Joseph Miller Huston
Born February 23, 1866
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died 1940 (aged 74)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Alma mater College of New Jersey
Spouse(s) Matilde Lewis MacGregor
Children Judelle, Craig

Joseph Miller Huston (February 23, 1866 – 1940) was an architect notable for designing the third (and current) Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. Construction started in 1902 of his Beaux-Arts design. He was one of five people convicted of graft in 1910 after a state investigation of cost overruns in association with construction and furnishing the capitol.

Early life and education[edit]

Joseph Miller Huston was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1866. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1895.[1]


Huston first worked with Frank Furness, an influential architect based in Philadelphia, before starting his own firm. In 1898–99, Huston toured Europe and Asia, seeing a range of historic styles which greatly influenced his later designs.

Huston designed the Pennsylvania State Memorial at Gettysburg Battlefield.

Joseph Huston was one of nine competitors in the design competition for a new Pennsylvania State Capitol building and won the commission at the age of 36. In the end, the total cost of the project was nearly triple what the legislature had appropriated, in part because of inflated costs for construction and furnishings due to the state's purchasing mechanism. Huston and four other officials were convicted of graft in 1910 and sentenced to up to two years in prison for their parts in the overruns. Although he appealed, Huston lost his case in 1911 and went to prison.[2]

In 1895, he designed the Witherspoon Building at Philadelphia.[3] In 1911, he designed the Searles Memorial Methodist Church, now located in the Old Pottstown Historic District.[4]


  1. ^ General Catalogue of Princeton University: 1746–1906. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 1908. p. 297. 
  2. ^ "Huston goes to prison" (PDF). The New York Times. May 24, 1911. p. 1. Retrieved November 18, 2009. 
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  4. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (SEARCHABLE DATABASE). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System.  Note: This includes Tom Hylton (June 1985). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Old Pottstown Historic District" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-24.