Skinner, William Henry - Architect
Skinner (1838-1915) grew up in England, the son of a builder. A student in the Department of Science and Art at South Kensington, he was awarded a bronze medal for success in art in 1859. He came to New Zealand that same year, working as a contractor and builder in Auckland. He remained in Auckland and practised as an architect from 1880 until his death in 1915.
His buildings include the "Star" Printing Office; the Onehunga Woollen Mills, the Freemason's Hall and the Grand Hotel, Princes Street. His ecclesiastical buildings include St Paul's Anglican Church, Symonds Street (1894-95), St James Presbyterian Church, Thames, and the Holy Sepulchre Church Hall, Khyber Pass. The latter was built as a temporary church for St Paul's parish and was later relocated.
William Henry Skinner (1838-1915), the son of a builder, was born in Newport, Wales. He studied in the Department of Science and Art at South Kensington, and was awarded a bronze medal for 'success in art' in 1859. Skinner came to New Zealand that same year, subsequently working as a contractor and builder in Auckland. In this capacity he erected a parsonage associated with the earlier Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Symonds Street in 1869. After enlisting in the Royal Rifle Volunteers during the New Zealand Wars, he rose to the rank of major. He remained in Auckland and practised as an architect from 1880 until his death in 1915.
Skinner's designs as an architect included the 'Star' printing office (demolished); the Onehunga Woollen Works; and the Freemasons' Hall (now a façade) on Princes Street, Auckland. His ecclesiastical buildings included the St James Presbyterian Church, Thames; St Paul's Anglican Church, Symonds Street, Auckland (1894-1895); and the temporary St Paul's Church, Eden Crescent, Auckland (1885) which is now part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre complex on Khyber Pass Road.