Carstairs, Thomas (1759? - 1830)
Scottish-born architect/builder Thomas Carstairs (born c. 1759, died July 26, 1830) launched his career in America by advertising his services in the Pennsylvania Packet in 1784. That same year, he sought membership in the Carpenters’ Company, but was turned down. Nonetheless, Carstairs steadily gained commissions and established a thriving business in Philadelphia. The Carpenters’ Company, noticing his growing success, subsequently issued an invitation in 1788, which Carstairs ignored until finally becoming a member in 1805. Among his achievements, Carstairs is noted for a block of twenty-two speculative row houses that he designed and built for William Sansom around 1800 on the south side of Sansom Street between 7th and 8th streets. Historically known as Carstairs Row, that block is widely known today as Jewelers’ Row.
37 1/8" H x 31 1/4" W (including frame)
Oil on canvas; wood frame
Gift of Mrs. Gaynor Roberts Shane
General Collection, Museum Collection, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia