Anderson, Charles Frederick (1802–1869), architect, was possibly born in Bedford, England. He was educated at Fermoy College, Co. Cork (c.1816–c.1818). From 1820 to 1824 he was apprenticed to the English architect Thomas Harrison (1744–1829), and to the Irish architect John Hargrave (d. 1833). An excellent artist and draughtsman, he travelled widely in Europe sketching buildings. He was employed by the architects James (qv) and George Richard Pain (qv) during the 1820s, and by the civil engineer Alexander Nimmo (qv) c.1830, and may have been professionally associated with Sir Thomas Deane (qv). He developed a prosperous practice in Tipperary and later in Cork, where he issued an undated ‘Architectural circular’ (held in the IAA), listing works under his ‘direction’, which included St Patrick's diocesan college, Thurles, Co. Tipperary (begun 1829), churches, and the building and remodelling of houses; he was superintending architect for houses built by several Cork landowners.
Escaping from the economic and civil disruption caused by the famine, he emigrated to New York (1849), where he worked briefly (1849–50) with the noted architect James Renwick (1818–95) before establishing his own practice on Wall St. (1850–59). He won several competitions for public buildings, including the House of Refuge, Baltimore (1849); New York City Hospital, Broadway Avenue, New York (1852) and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada (c.1852). He also designed villas and published Anderson's American villa architecture and three country churches (Washington, 1853).
In 1851, with three other architects, he won a premium for the extension of the US Capitol, Washington, DC (T. U. Walter's design was adopted and corner-stone laid in 1851), and published Enlargement of the capitol of the United States (Washington, 1851). He subsequently submitted revised plans (1851, 1853), concentrating on heating and ventilation systems, which were approved (1853). In 1859 he established a practice in Washington. He sought compensation for what he believed was plagiarism of his plans for the extension of the Capitol, and published a Letter explanatory of public and private injustice, with proofs of the frauds and treasonable practices connected with the government works of the District of Columbia (Washington, 1861). Appointed chief civil assistant to the superintendent of public works for the District of Columbia (c.1860), he served as an engineer on aqueducts. After testifying before the senate committee on public buildings, he was appointed to examine the lighting, heating, ventilation, and acoustic systems of the halls of congress in the Capitol extension, and published a report (1864). In 1866 he was awarded $7,500 for his services to the Capitol since 1850, and retired from architectural practice.
George Keller (1842–1935), a distinguished architect who worked for Anderson 1858–9, describes him in his Memoirs (1901) as an ‘irascible Irishman . . . who had one glass eye. He kept a brace of pistols on his desk; but though often threatening to “call out” persons who had differences with him, I doubt if he ever fought a duel’ (Randle, 141). He devoted his life to his profession. Nothing is known of his family life. He died in 1869.