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Thomas Carter House – Breathing New Life into Old Buildings

Thomas Carter House – Breathing New Life into Old Buildings

This week marks a special week for Anderton Gables as we finally move into our new home of 1-2 Cross Street in Preston. While it may only be a five-minute walk from our previous office, our new home provides our growing team with the space an ever-expanding business needs to reach the next level. And expanding we are! In the past 12 months AG have taken on approximately 265 new instructions from our clients and 9 new members of staff across the business.

To those who have followed AG’s journey you’ll already know that we have been looking forward to this week for a long time. Where AG also have offices in Manchester and Sheffield, our Head Office in Preston serves as an important hub for our organisation. It’s fitting then, that the first person to ever occupy our new building was himself a chartered surveyor and architect. It’s from this interesting first occupant that our new building takes its name; Thomas Carter House.

His full name was Thomas Whinrey Carter and by all accounts he led a rather exciting life, not just in the UK but across the pond as well. A swift Google of the man himself doesn’t yield much in the way of results, but when we dug a little deeper we learned some surprising things about his life and the influence he had on more than just Preston.

Our new office building; 1-2 Cross Street was constructed between 1824 and 1844. Mr Carter then occupied the property from 1853 where it’s believed he used it as his base of operations for his own surveying practice. The building was not occupied by anyone else until 1907 per official records, but this was some time after Thomas Carter’s death in 1894.

Mr Carter himself had in fact emigrated to set up his practice in the United States, more specifically in the city of New Orleans. This is where he took his final and most famous commission for a man named Leon Godchaux who was known as ‘The Sugar King of Louisiana’. Godchaux had several nearby buildings demolished then hired Thomas Carter to construct his final project on the corner of Canal and Chartes streets in New Orleans; The Godchaux Building.

Sadly, The Godchaux Building, no longer exists. It stood from 1891 until 1969, until it was demolished to make way for what is now the Marriot Hotel. As anyone who works in construction will know, sometimes older, potentially dilapidated sites need to be demolished to make way for exiting new and useful developments. While it’s sad to see old buildings gone forever they can live on in memories and photographs, therefore they always remain part of history. New developments are necessary, especially today, be it new offices for businesses or affordable homes for families, our industry and the work it does is so important to communities and infrastructure.

That’s exactly what we have done with 1-2 Cross Street, which from now on will be referred to as Thomas Carter House. We took something old and gave it new life, and now it will serve as the beating heart for the work we do around the North of England. We also hope that in doing so we continue the legacy of another man, who did the exact same thing on two different continents over a century ago. Where he started his work we will continue ours.

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