I first started planning Anderson's Emporium in 2001, although I knew even then that it would be a long time before I'd be able to start construction. First, I searched the net to try and find a suitable house, and eventually settled on The Henley by Caverill.
My next step was to haunt eBay, buying up lights, shop fittings, resin people, anything that I felt would be suitable for this project.
Although The Henley was the nearest I could find to what I wanted, it wasn't exactly right. I decided that I would leave out the internal partitions and support the upper floors on pillars, as that seemed more in keeping with a department store than separate rooms. I found the tallest pillars I could at Cynosure, and bought them, too.
In 2003, I was at last ready to buy the house, and was very excited when it arrived. I opened the huge box on 28th October. Fortunately it went together reasonably easily, though being so big (33 inches wide by 12 inches deep and 35 inches high), it was quite difficult to manhandle. I decided that I wanted to start on the inside first, so I just painted the back and sides with emulsion paint, and ignored the front altogether. The inside was papered, lights fitted, the pillars put into place, and the stairs were positioned from left to right.
Under the stairs, I built a cashier's kiosk. This was my first attempt at making something out of wood, and I was very pleased with the result. I feel now that I could make a much better one, but won't change it.
Looking at the building, I felt that the attic space was far too small to use. In fact the roof was intended to be fixed into position. I wanted to put offices in the attic, and so I built a new one using the corrugated cardboard from the box in which the kit arrived. As I didn't want to put stairs in from the upper sales floor to the attic, I made two false doors and fitted them against the back wall.
Having reached this point, I was ready to start turning the building into my department store!