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Male, US, born 1921-10-08, died 1998-03-05

Associated with the firms network

Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire, (SWMB), Incorporated, Engineers; Skilling and Helle, Structural Engineers; Skilling, Helle, Christiansen, and Robertson, Incorporated, Engineers; Skilling, Ward, Rogers, Barkshire, Incorporated, Engineers; Witt, W.H., Company; Worthington and Skilling, Engineers; Worthington, Skilling and Jackson, Structural Engineers; Worthington, Skilling, Helle and Jackson, Structural Engineers

Professional History

Skilling could not serve in the armed forces in World War II due to poor eyesight. Engineer, Boeing Company, Seattle, WA, c. 1943-1945; while still a student, he designed long-span airplane hangars for Boeing. Engineer, W.H. Witt Company, Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1945-1955; Skilling worked for W.H. Witt while he was a student in 1945, two years before graduating from the UW. Partner, Worthington and Skilling, Incorporated, Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1955-1960; Partner, Skilling and Helle, Incorporated, Engineers, Seattle, WA, c. 1962; Partner, Worthington, Skilling, Helle and Jackson, Incorporated, Engineers, Seattle, WA, c. 1964-1968; Partner/Chief Executive Officer, Skilling, Helle, Christiansen, Robertson, Incorporated, Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1968-1983; Partner, Skilling, Ward, Rogers, Barkshire, Incorporated, Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1983-1987; Partner, Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire, Incorporated, Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1987-2003;

Construction Man of the Year, Engineering News Record, 1966; Engineer of the Year, Consulting Engineers Council of Washington, 1967; Engineer of the Year, Washington Society of Professional Engineers (WSPE), 1967; Engineer of the Year, Structural Engineers Association of Washington (SEAW), 1967; Skilling was the sole structural engineer selected in the inaugural class of the National Academy of Engineering, 1985; Honorary AIA Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), 1994. Seattle Mayor Norm Rice decreed 06/03/1994 as "John Skilling Day" in the City of Seattle.


Graduate, Kent Senior High School, Kent, WA; B.S., Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 1947.

Skilling became the youngest Eagle Scout in the State of CA in 1934. (See Marga Rose Hancock, "Skilling, John B. (1921-1998), Engineer,"Accessed 02-25-2014. Much of the information in this entry came from the Hancock article.)


Born in Los Angeles, CA, Skilling's family moved to Seattle c. 1938. Soon after their marriage, John and Mary Jane lived in a number of apartments located around Seattle. Their first single-family home was in Seattle's View Ridge neighborhood. They commissioned noted Seattle architect Paul Kirk to design their residence at 3000 Webster Point Road, Laurelhurst, Seattle.

John had five siblings: John, Virginia, Helen, Donald and Bill. The family moved from place to place, as his father, a civil engineer, worked on various federal buildings being constructed, primarily post offices. John would often work somewhere on the construction sites himself.

Skilling wed May Jane Stender on 05/01/1943, according to King County records. He had met her while they both took a UW economics class in 1942.

He had three children, Susan (born 1947 in Seattle), William (born 1949 in Seattle) and Ann (born 1956 in Seattle). Ann would marry Richard Yoder, with whom she would operate the venerable Seattle restaurant, Wild Ginger. The restaurant's Asian-influenced cuisine was influenced by John Skilling's interest in the subject. He and his family would collectively plan multiple-course Chinese menus. (See Marga Rose Hancock, "Skilling, John B. (1921-1998), Engineer,"Accessed 02-25-2014.)

Member, Delta Epsilon Fraternity, UW, Seattle, WA. SSN: 535-12-6091.

Associated Locations

  • Los Angeles, CA (Architect's Birth)
    Los Angeles, CA

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  • Seattle, WA (Architect's Death)
    Seattle, WA

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PCAD id: 2319

4th and Madison Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA2002SeattleWA
Bellevue Art Museum (BAM), Bellevue, WA2001BellevueWA
Boy Scouts of America, Chief Seattle Council, Service Center, Seattle, WA1960SeattleWA
Columbia Seafirst Center, Downtown, Seattle, WA1985SeattleWA
International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, Office Building and Garage, Downtown, Seattle, WA1962-1964SeattleWA
King County, Department of Stadium Administration, Domed Stadium, Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA 1972-1976SeattleWA
Magnin, I., Department Store #2, Seattle, WA1953-1954SeattleWA
Marine Bancorporation, Rainier National Bank, Headquarters Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA1972-1977SeattleWA
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, World Trade Center, Towers I and II, New York, NY 1966-1973New YorkNY
Rivergate Exhibit Facility, New Orleans, LA 1964-1968New OrleansLA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, Saint Alphonsus Church #2, Ballard, Seattle, WA1960-1962SeattleWA
Seattle 1st National Bank, Incorporated, 5th Avenue Plaza Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA1979-1981SeattleWA
Seattle 1st National Bank, Incorporated, Headquarters Building #3, Downtown, Seattle, WA1966-1969SeattleWA
Seattle Center, Wright, Bagley, Theatre, Seattle, WA1982-1983SeattleWA
Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Office Building #2, Downtown, Seattle, WA1924SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Ingraham High School, Seattle, WA1958SeattleWA
Seattle World's Fair, Fine Arts Pavilion, Seattle, WA1961-1962SeattleWA
Seattle World's Fair, United States Science Pavilion, Seattle, WA1959-1962SeattleWA
Shannon and Wilson, Properties, Incorporated, Geotechnical Engineers, Office and Laboratory Building, Seattle, WA1960SeattleWA
Skilling, John B., House, Seattle, WA
State of Washington, Convention and Trade Center (WSCTC), Downtown, Seattle, WA1985-1988SeattleWA
United Control Corporation, Factory
United States Government, Department of Justice, Federal Courts, Courthouse #3, Downtown, Seattle, WA2001-2004SeattleWA
University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Child Development and Mental Retardation Center, Seattle, WA1967-1969SeattleWA
University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Condon, John T., Hall #2, Seattle, WA1974-1975SeattleWA
University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Gates, William H., Sr., Hall, Seattle, WA2003SeattleWA
University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Residence Hall Unit #3, Seattle, WA1963SeattleWA
Washington Mutual Savings Bank, Tower #2, Downtown, Seattle, WA2004-2006SeattleWA
Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District, Safeco Field, SoDo, Seattle, WA1997-1999SeattleWA
Washington State University (WSU), Fine Arts Center, Pullman, WA1973PullmanWA
Wayside Congregational Church, Chapel, Federal Way, WAFederal WayWA
West Seattle Congregational Church, West Seattle, Seattle, WA1959-1960SeattleWA
Yakima Valley SunDome, Yakima, WA1989-1990YakimaWA