Hawke's Bay Chambers
78-82 Emerson St, Napier
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
27th November 1986
Hawke's Bay Region
Pt TS 170
Williams, Ernest Arthur (1875-1962)
Williams was an architect and engineer who was prominent in Hawkes Bay as a result of his contribution towards the reconstruction of Napier following the 1931 earthquake.
Born in London he immigrated to New Zealand with his family early in 1908, spending a few months in Christchurch before settling in Napier. Initially he joined the Napier firm of architects W P Finch and Company as an architectural draughtsman, employing the skills he had learned during his training in architecture and joinery in England.
He was a member of the engineering staff of the Napier Borough Council until 1912, holding the position of Clerk of Works. He held this position during the building of the Napier Municipal Baths.
Williams set up his own architectural practice in 1912. He was, however, co-opted as Napier Borough Engineer during World War 1, resuming independent architectural practice in 1921.
After the 1931 earthquake his practice expanded to include eight architectural draughtsmen to cope with the large number of commissions to replace buildings which had been destroyed. His completed works include the Criterion Hotel (192), the Central Hotel (1931), Harston's Building (1930 and 1932), the Daily Telegraph Building (1932), the Napier Harbour Board Offices, and hospital buildings on Bluff Hill.
Builder: Holder Bros.
Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.