Smith and Carrier

Smith and Carrier, an Asheville architectural firm established in 1906 by Richard Sharp Smith (1852-1924) and Albert Heath Carrier (1878-1961), was among the most distinguished and prolific architectural firms in western North Carolina and did much to define the character of the mountain city of Asheville during its early 20th century era of rapid growth and architectural efflorescence.

Smith, a native of England, had come to Asheville in the 1890s as superintending architect at Biltmore and had already established his reputation by 1906, while Carrier, a native of Michigan, moved there with his family as a child in 1885 and as a young man gained valuable knowledge of construction by working with a family firm in Duplin County. By 1903 Smith was so busy that he needed a partner, and after some negotiation on terms (see entry for Albert Heath Carrier), the two formed their partnership in 1906.

The firm worked on more than 700 projects from its inception until Smith’s death in 1924. Their notable works in Asheville included all building types, with the Legal Building (1909) and the Loughran Building (1923) among the most prominent early and late works. Landmarks beyond the city include the imposing, neoclassical Jackson County Courthouse and Madison County Courthouse. Among the architects employed by the partnership were Charles N. Parker from 1909 to 1913, who later practiced independently in Asheville, and Joseph D. Rivers from 1923-1924, who subsequently worked with William H. Lord in Asheville. After Smith’s death, Carrier completed the projects underway but soon reduced his practice and essentially retired from the profession. For more information on both men and the firm, see their respective entries herein.

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