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Lucas Hermanus Eberson

23-03-1822 - 30-11-1889

L.H. Eberson was appointed Architect of the King in 1874. He had an exceptional talent for fitting out historic monuments with luxurious 19th-century appurtenances whilst retaining their historic value.

Lucas Hermanus Eberson was born in Arnhem in 1822 the son of a blacksmith. As his parents both died early, Eberson was left an orphan at the age of thirteen and he was brought up by his family. From 1841, Eberson took lessons in architecture at J. Breijer’s school of draughtsmanship in Arnhem.

In 1843, he decided to go abroad to hone his skills in architecture. He studied and worked in Paris for quite a while, in a period in which such avant-garde architects as Henri Labrouste, Felix Duban, Louis Duc and Leon Vaudoyer were actively building. Lucas Eberson worked with eclectic architect J. Lacornée and neo-Classicist J. L. Grisart. Meanwhile, he maintained his links with the Netherlands by taking part in various competitions organised by the Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Bouwkunst (Society for the Promotion of Architecture).  Critics believed that the French frivolity of his work clashed with the straightforward and down-to-earth Dutch mentality. Eberson’s classicist, eclectic designs were, however, in tune with the international developments in the neo-Renaissance.

In 1851 he returned to the Netherlands, establishing his own firm of architects in Arnhem, where he was born. His commissions came mainly from the aristocracy, and included restorations of castles and country manors, and the construction of bridges, stables and greenhouses on country estates and in parks. He also restored the Waalse church in Arnhem and designed a new building for the Arnhems Natuurkundig Genootschap (Arnhem Society for Natural History). He restored castle Biljoen in Velp, the country seat of baron J.F.W.K. van Hardenbroek. Using architectural elements from various style periods, Eberson had an exceptional talent for fitting out historic monuments with luxurious 19th-century appurtenances whilst retaining their historical quality.

King William III appointed Eberson Architect of the King, a position he held from 1874 to 1889. His work includes designs for the Paleis Het Loo and Paleis Soestdijk palaces, and he acted as consultant on the construction of the royal stables. Architect Eberson also had several other tasks such as organising the funeral of Queen Sophie in 1877 and accompanying King William III on his travels. Eberson died in 1889.

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