Topic: Taranaki Women's Club, 70 Powderham Street (constructed 1850s-60s - demolished 2014)

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A single storey timber building built in the 1850s-60s for prominent early settler John Skinner and his family. The house was originally located in Devon Street before being moved to this Powderham Street location about 1878-79, following John's death, to enable the construction of several two-storied shops (including the Arizona Building a few years later).

An early map of New Plymouth, dated 1884, shows a house on this section occupied by a Mrs Skinner. This was Mrs Prudence Skinner, John's wife, and the mother of Thomas Kingwell Skinner. T.K. Skinner was born in New Plymouth in 1849 and trained as a surveyor and civil engineer. He entered into a business partnership with Thomas Sole and for many years they were the engineers for the New Plymouth Borough Council. He never married and street directories of the early 1900s indicate he lived here with his mother. Mrs Skinner died in 1919, aged 93 and Thomas Skinner died  on the 29th of August 1925, aged 76.

The diaries of Fred Butler identify a Mrs Catherine Campbell as the occupier of this house in 1938.

The building was purchased by the Taranaki Women's Club in 1950. Tthe club was founded in 1926 for women interested in social, public, scientific and artistic affairs.

The 1995 N.P.D.C. Heritage Study describes its architectural significance as deriving from its "simple form and intact timber framing sheathing".

The Puriri on the front of the section is registered as a category 2 notable tree in the N.P.D.C. district plan. 

In September 2012 it was reported in the Taranaki Daily News that due to the deteriorating condition of the building the Taranaki Women's Club had decided to sell their home of over sixty years.

In early 2014 the house was advertised for removal but in the end it was demolished in May 2014.

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Taranaki Women's Club, 70 Powderham Street (constructed 1850s-60s - demolished 2014)


City:New Plymouth