(b Edinburgh, July 22, 1810; d Philadelphia, PA, March 3, 1865).
American architect of Scottish birth. He was prominent among the emigré architects of the first half of the 19th century who introduced into America new styles, a greater professionalism, and more sophisticated approaches to design.
According to an anonymous manuscript biography (ex-Hist. Soc., Philadelphia, PA, now lost), Notman served an apprenticeship as a carpenter in Edinburgh. He then worked for the architect William Henry Playfair (see Playfair family §(2)), whose early essays in the Italianate style Notman later introduced in the USA. In 1831, following a period of economic depression in Edinburgh and the consequent collapse of its construction industry, Notman immigrated to the USA, settling in Philadelphia, where he supported himself as a carpenter. His first major design commission was for the Laurel Hill Cemetery (1836–9), Philadelphia, PA. Derived from Kensal Green Cemetery, London, Laurel Hill was the earliest architect-designed Picturesque rural cemetery in the USA. Rural cemeteries and other landscape designs continued to be an important aspect of his work. Later cemeteries included Hollywood Cemetery (...