Chauncey Fitch Skilling

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Chauncey Fitch Skilling (1868–1945) was a Los Angeles, California, architect who was also a member of that city's school board and of its city council.



Skilling was born on December 7, 1868, in Manchester, Illinois, the son of Josiah Hamilton Skilling of Ireland and Margaret Lucy Thompson of Athens, Ohio. His brothers were Edward H., William T. and Robert P. Coming to Los Angeles in 1886, he attended Los Angeles State Normal School and the University of Southern California (1892), followed by a year at a business college (1893).[1][2][3]

He was a Presbyterian and a Republican.[1]

Residing at 1051 S. Lucerne Boulevard, he died of pneumonia at the age of 78 on February 14, 1945. Skilling was survived by brothers William T. of San Diego, California, and Robert P. of Newark, New Jersey.[2] [2]

Chief structural engineer of the World Trade Center (New York, New York), John Skilling, was a relative, the grandson of his brother Edward.


Richardson residence, 1909
Hotel planned at Fifth and Olive, 1910
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 1921
Skilling, taken from a book of caricatures, 1900

His first recorded job was as a draftsman around 1892–94. Before going into business for himself as an architect, he was a partner of John C. W. Austin and later of Otto Neher.[1][2][3][4]

Skilling "designed and supervised construction of Immanuel Presbyterian Church and of dozens of other churches and schools in Southern California."[2] Some of these, either planned or completed, were:

Public service[edit]

Skilling served on the Board of Education in 1900-02 and was a member of the Los Angeles City Council in 1902-04.[1][13] As a councilman, in 1904 he persuaded the City Council to pass an emergency ordinance that required patients with tuberculosis and other contagious diseases to be treated in hospitals in "sections of the city that are sufficiently isolated from populous districts to minimize the danger of contamination." He said that "energetic protests" had been made against such institutions in densely populated districts."[14]

He advocated vocational training in the city schools and, with the aid of J.H. Francis, he helped pass a resolution through the City Council that resulted in the establishment of Los Angeles Polytechnic High School in 1906.[1]