William Fielding

“one of those steady but undramatic designers who never sought, nor was subject to, the limelight.”

William was born in Lancashire and undertook his architectural training in Manchester. He came to New Zealand with his wife Lily (nee Midgley) in 1908 and set up his own practice in Wellington the following year. He designed nearly 300 buildings. Some of his most notable are:

Capitol Theatre, Miramar (now known as the Roxy theatre)

Congregational Church, Cambridge Terrace

Wellington Trades Hall, Vivian Street

Ward Memorial Methodist Church and Hall, Northland (now known as St Anne’s church)

William was also the architect of the Evening Post building on Willis Street. It was constructed in 1928 in the Chicago style.

‘The lower stories will be faced with polished granite in delicate tints of vitreous glazed terracotta. The construction will be steel framed and reinforced concrete, so that the premises will be both fire and earthquake resisting ….. Lavatories and strongrooms are to be provided on each floor’.

(the tiles have subsequently been painted over)

In the infancy of radio, the ‘Evening Post’ displayed the election results on its building. In anticipation of the 1935 election results, the newspaper reads ‘In addition to posting up of returns, results will be announced as they come to hand through a public address loud speaker system, installed for the occasion so that those on the fringe of the crowd unable to view the entire board will be at no disadvantage’.

William was elected a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1915. He served as chairman of the Wellington branch of the New Zealand Institute of Architects. He was also a member of the Hataitai Bowling Club and represented New Zealand at the 1930 British Empire Games in Toronto.

William died in 1946, aged 70. His funeral service was held at the Congregational Church he designed. Also in this plot is his wife Lily who died in 1951. And his mother Mary (nee Turnbull) who was the first interment in 1916.

Plot: Public/M/228

You can read more about the Evening Post editor of the time, Joseph Parker and the Evening Post founder on our website.





By Julia Kennedy

Bowling Team, William Fielding is on the right hand side. Evening Post 2 July 1930
Election night crowds outside the Evening Post building, Willis Street, Wellington. Crown Studios Ltd :Negatives and prints. Ref: 1/1-032710-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22640077
Fielding plot courtesy of FindaGrave