BFA signage
home
archives
Boys Institute 1892


Boys Institute, Victoria St., Wellington, 1892
Denis Fortune Collection
Architects: William Crichton and G A Troup.

The Boys Institute was estabished in 1884 to attend to the 'spiritual, mental and physical improvement of the working boys of Wellington'. It took 8 years to raise funds for a new building.

The Cylcopedia of New Zealand (1897) describes the building:
'......The brick building, which was erected entirely by subscription and was completed free from debt, cost from £800 to £1000. It is situated on the reclaimed land at the corner of Cuba and Victoria Streets. There is a fine hall capable of seating from two to three hundred, two class-rooms, library containing 450 volumes, secretary's office, and gymnasium, which is one of the best in Wellington. The hall is freely used by the members, who number over 300.......'

The drawings are signed by both William Crichton and George A Troup as architects but given that the style of lettering is different from most other Crichton drawings it is likely this was drawn by Troup. Troup was the railways department architect (most well known for the Dunedin railway station) and was not permitted to take on private work. He was also involved with the Boys Institute from its early days so it would seem likely he had Crichton manage the project in order to avoid possible difficulties for himself. The relationship between these two architects must have lasted many years because in 1928 the Evening Post newspaper reported that Troup, by then the mayor of Wellington, attended Crichton's funeral.

The following is written in pencil on the drawing:
"This building was demolished to make way for WCC power house in what is now Wakefield St". The note is initialled and dated 17-12-62

In 1906 a gym, located in Arthur St, was built for the same client. The design is attributed to William Gray Young, then employed by Crichton and McKay. In 1914 the same architect, by then in his own practice, designed the Boys and Girls Institute building in Tasman St. The 1906 gym was relocated to Kelvin Grove in 2005.

Continuous practice since 1892... design for your needs, not for ours