William Alfred Freret

William A. Freret
U.S. Post Office and Courthouse (Charleston, South Carolina)
Freret's glass dome in the Old Louisiana State Capitol

William Alfred Freret, Jr. [“Will Freret”] (b. in New Orleans, Louisiana, 19 January 1833; d. 1911) was an American architect.[1] He served from 1887 to 1888 as head of the Office of the Supervising Architect, which oversaw construction of Federal buildings.[2]

He is associated with a number of buildings that are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.


William Alfred Freret was born in New Orleans. His father was William Freret, a mayor of the city, and his cousin James Freret was a fellow architect with whom he sometimes collaborated.[1] He was educated in his native city and in Baton Rouge.

William received an engineering degree in England and adopted architecture as his profession. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, he entered the Confederate Army as a private in the Washington Artillery from New Orleans. He was promoted from time to time, finally reaching the rank of lieutenant-colonel of engineers. He served on Kirby Smith's staff, and was also assistant chief and acting chief of the Trans-Mississippi Department until the surrender. From 1866 to 1868 he was state engineer for Louisiana, and for several years after that he had charge of the construction of the public schools of the McDonogh fund, some sixteen in number. He served as supervising architect of the U.S. government from June, 1887, until March, 1890, when he resigned.

W. A. Freret designed the reconstructed statehouse at Baton Rouge after the Civil War. He was the architect for the buildings of the state university at Pineville, the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and many of the public buildings and private residences in New Orleans and elsewhere in Louisiana and several of the neighboring states.


Works include:


  1. 1 2 3 4 Catherine W. Bishir (2009). "Freret, William A. (1833-1911)". North Carolina Architects and Builders: a biographical dictionary. North Carolina State University. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  2. Annual Report of the Supervising Architect to the Secretary of the Treasury for The Year Ending September 30, 1887. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1887.
  3. 1 2 3 4 National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  4. http://www.louisianaoldstatecapitol.org/PageDisplay.asp?p1=805
  5. http://www.fjc.gov/history/courthouses.nsf/getcourthouse?OpenAgent&chid=FC0A4982290873718525718B006BD118


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Preceded by
Mifflin E. Bell
Office of the Supervising Architect
Succeeded by
James H. Windrim
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