J.H. Sinclair
United Kingdom
J.H. (John Houston) Sinclair was a British architect who held various official posts in Zanzibar and other locations in East Africa. He was born on the Isle of Wight in 1871, and after finishing his apprenticeship in 1891 joined the prestigious architectural office of John L. Pearson in London. However, he showed no great promise as an architect, and took a position in a new financial audit department in the Foreign Office in December 1893. In December 1895, he was dispatched to East Africa to become the the local auditor for the East African Protectorate in Kenya, beginning a career in East Africa that would span 29 years.

After three years in Mombassa, where Sinclair completed his first architectural works in East Africa, he was posted to Zanzibar in April 1899. There, Sinclair built a number of structures in Stone Town, including the British Residency, High Court, Bank of India, Darajani Market, the Bharmal Building, the Post Office, and the Peace Memorial Museum. Sinclair's architectural style has been characterized as "Saracenic."

Sinclair's posts in Zanzibar included Chief Secretary, and eventually Resident from 1922-1924.


Sinclair, Dean. "Field Note: "Memorials More Enduring than Bronze": J. H. Sinclair and the Making of Zanzibar Stone Town." African Geographical Review 28, (March 2009): 71-97.

Siravo, Francesco. Zanzibar: a plan for the historic stone town, 24, 51. Geneva: Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 1996.
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John Houston Sinclair