Guido Beck’s St. Anthony Catholic Church

Guido Beck’s St. Anthony Catholic Church

St. Anthony Catholic Church

Built 1900

Located at the corner of Rosedale and St. Ambrose Streets

Stained Glass inside St. Anthony's (circa 2016)

Stained Glass inside of St. Anthony’s (2016)

Dubuque architect, Guido Beck designed St. Anthony Church in 1900 in the Gothic Revival style of architecture. The St. Anthony Parish was formed in 1868 and underwent a number of name changes. The parish was initially known as St. Malachi and subsequently changed to St. Aidan, St. Ambrose, and finally St. Anthony.  The first parish building was a school, also serving as the parish church until the construction of an addition in 1881 for worship space. The present church was built during Father O’Malley’s pastorate and was dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua in 1900.

The parish was located in an area known as “West Dubuque” at the time of construction and primarily served German immigrant families. An April 15, 1900, Des Moines Register article noted the lowest bidders for construction and the total cost: “Brick work, Joseph Skemp & Son; cut stone work, Schulte & Son; carpentry, lumber and mill work, iron and hardware, Klauer Manufacturing company; plastering, Th. M. Cosgrove, Rev. Father P. O’Malley, pastor, G. Beck, architect. Cost, $14,000.” Beck’s initial rendering called for a tall, decorative steeple on the northwest corner of the building. However, the steeple was never built likely due to lack of funds. In 1904, Beck designed a similar steeple for Holy Angels Church in Roselle, Iowa, providing an example of what the St. Anthony’s steeple would have looked like if it had been completed.

Mural of St. Anthony (circa 2016)

Mural of St. Anthony (2016)

st-anthony-interior

Inside of St. Anthony’s (2016)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The interior of St. Anthony’s is beautifully decorated with stained glass windows from the Chicago stained glass company of Flanagan and Biedenweg.  The windows tell the story of the life of Christ. In the 1930s, Fr. O’Malley contracted with two artists from Italy to complete a series of paintings that are symbolic representations of the four cardinal virtues: Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, and Prudence.

Original design for St. Anthony's (circa 1900)

Original design for St. Anthony’s (circa 1900)

 

Architect of the Month: Guido Beck, October 2016

Architect of the Month: Guido Beck, October 2016

Guido Beck (1853 – 1936), was a Dubuque architect who specialized in the architecture of churches and schools. Beck was born on January 25, 1853, in Hohenzollern, Germany where he received his early education and later studied architecture at Stuttgart and the University of Heidelberg. As a young architect, he was awarded the position of superintendent and was given one of his first building commissions by the German government to construct an asylum at Schussenried, Germany.  Beck completed the asylum in 1882, and then, against the wishes and advice of all his friends, left his native country and immigrated to the United States. He thought his chances for success were infinitely greater and the field for work much broader in the U.S.

G. Beck

Portrait of Guido Beck

Upon his arrival to the United States, Beck traveled to Rock Island, Illinois and worked as a stone-cutter in the government arsenal. There he familiarized himself with the language and customs, thoroughly mastering the American style of architecture.   With the knowledge he already possessed, Beck quickly became one of the foremost architects in the State of Iowa. In 1885 he came to Dubuque and partnered first with fellow German émigré architect Fridolin Heer.  After a few years, he left the partnership to develop his own architecture practice.  With the booming Catholic population, Beck specialized in church architecture.  He designed over 100 church buildings throughout the region, one as far away as Bozeman, Montana.  Beck-designed churches are found throughout the State of Iowa.  His preferred architectural style was the Gothic Revival style, with its pointed arches and soaring steeples.

Among the notable Dubuque buildings, Beck designed St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, St. Columbkille Catholic Church, St. Joseph Chapel at Loras College, Holy Ghost Church, St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the mortuary chapel at St. Raphael Cathedral. Beck also designed many parochial schools and residences including the St. Raphael School on Bluff Street, recently converted into apartments. Beck also designed the following churches in the surrounding area: St. Clement Church in Bankston, St. Joseph Church in Bellevue, St. Martin Church (now St. Matthias Church) in Cascade, and St. Joseph Church in Rickardsville.

Architect of the Month: Willoughby Edbrooke, September 2016

Architect of the Month: Willoughby Edbrooke, September 2016

Willoughby Edbrooke (1843 – 1896), was born on September 3, 1843, in Deerfield, Illinois. Edbrooke’s father was an English-born contractor and builder and raised Willoughby in the architectural profession until he reached an age to study under the most advanced masters in Chicago. He studied for several years under the best architects in the city and was recognized for a thorough mastery of his profession. He was Commissioner of Buildings in Chicago and subsequently served as Supervising Architect for Chicago. He supervised and designed the U.S. Government Buildings erected at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. Edbrooke’s other notable designs include:  The Milwaukee Federal Building; the Old Post Office Building in Washington DC; the Federal Courthouse and Post Office in St. Paul, Minnesota; several buildings on the University of Notre Dame’s campus in South Bend, IN, including the iconic gold-domed Main Administrative Building; and the State Capitol Building in Atlanta, GA.

Edbrooke’s design of the Grand Opera House is a very early example of the Richardsonian Romanesque style in Dubuque. The Grand Opera House was built between 1889 and 1890 and is located at the corner of 8th and Iowa Streets in Dubuque. The Grand Opera House is architecturally important as an early Richardsonian Romanesque building and perhaps one of the best designs of Edbrooke’s work.

interior-kinseth-hospitality-companies

Interior of the Grand Opera House (Kinseth Hospitality Companies)

willoughby-edbrooke

Portrait of Willoughby Edbrooke (Hickey Family History, Schlereth, Portrait of Its History, p. 59)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grand’s distinctive heavy rounded arches at its base and its red sandstone and brick for construction are hallmarks of the Richardsonian Romanesque style.  According to the National Register nomination, the façade overlays the classical base, column and capital in its fenestration pattern, all applied to a broad, shallow gabled pavilion basic form. Twin armory towers with steeply pitched pyramid roofs and finials define the sides of the pavilion. The brickwork and stone foundation are purposely unified by means of a smooth finish and blended narrow mortar joints. The features of the façade are not carried over to either side walls. The building stands five stories in height and measures 70×128. The opera house interior has been repeatedly remodeled over time, including the removal of the second balcony.   However much of the original theater interior survives. The lobby stairways retain their Queen Anne trim work and remain in their original locations.  The exterior was modified over the years as well, including covering the façade in the mid-1950s with enameled metal siding.

grand-opera-drawing-grand-opera-house-website

Drawing of the Grand Opera House (Grand Opera House Website)

At the time of its construction, the Grand Opera House was the largest theater to be built in Dubuque. The theatre had a 1,100 seat auditorium including two balconies, eight boxes and stalls and a proscenium large enough to host major theatrical productions.  A July 23, 1890 Herald article noted that the new theatre, “is by far the finest and largest edifice of its character ever erected in the city, and it is not excelled in the state.” The Grand had a long time direct association with the “legitimate theater” in Dubuque between 1890 and 1928.  The theater allowed for the staging of exceptionally large scale and high quality shows. Dubuque was in a fortunate position to establish and offer the legitimate theater and was the only city of its size to be so favored, with the best traveling companies visiting Dubuque as a Midwest railroad hub.  The Grand Opera House is the only surviving example of Edbrooke’s theatre designs.

In 1998, The Grand launched a campaign to renovate and restore the building to the look and style of the 1890s original design.  All of the 1950s metal siding was removed, exposing the impressive, monumental original façade.  The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. The building has a high level of historic integrity and was restored to host live stage entertainment once again.

Alfred Caldwell’s Eagle Point Park

Alfred Caldwell’s Eagle Point Park

Alfred Caldwell titled his creation at Eagle Point Park, “a city in a garden.” The park sits high atop of a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River on the northeast corner of Dubuque. Caldwell’s work at the park was made possible through the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) program to expand and renovate the park. With the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic ideas, Caldwell designed the pavilions, the lily pond, the ledge gardens, council rings, and pathways.

1 Lilly Pond Construction Alfred Caldwell on left with can ca 1934-35 TH Photo

Lilly Pond Construction Alfred Caldwell on the left (Photo Credit: Telegraph Herald photo from the collection of Loras College Center for Dubuque History)

Caldwell constructed three pavilions out of striated limestone pulsating in and out from the vertical plane and simultaneously emphasizing the horizontality of the buildings with low-slung hipped roofs and wide eaves. He produced most of the materials needed on site opening a stone quarry nearby and cutting lumber from the local timber. The pavilions were clustered near the highest point in the park and provided multipurpose meeting rooms, dining rooms, and bathrooms around stone hearths. The bridge pavilion stretches across the main road to create a formal entry to the park.

The buildings are connected with stone terraces, benches, and walls. The organic quality of Caldwell’s design was strengthened by the native plants placed informally around the pavilions and throughout the park. In true Prairie school fashion, Caldwell aimed to blur the distinction between nature and the built environment, particularly with the use of the ledge garden, the lily pool, and the council rings intentionally set to grow out of the hill.

4 Women on Councel Ring ca 1930s TH Photo

Women on the Council Ring, ca. 1930’s (Photo Credit: Telegraph Herald photo from the collection of Loras College Center for Dubuque History)

The park won a national W.P.A. design award in 1936, and Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt visited the site during the 1936 presidential campaign. Upon seeing Caldwell’s work, President Roosevelt remarked that “this is my idea of a worthwhile boondoggle.” Caldwell was subsequently fired from this job, just as he would be fired from most of the jobs he would ever have.

Caldwell’s work at Eagle Point Park will be examined and celebrated during Heritage Works’ upcoming inaugural Dubuque Heritage Festival on October 7 and 8.  The afternoon on October 7 will feature a symposium for architects, landscape architects, historic preservation professionals and anyone else interested in history, Caldwell’s work or historic landscapes.  Friday evening will feature a reception at the Dubuque Museum of Art and the opening of the museum’s exhibit of some of Caldwell’s drawings and other artifacts of Caldwell’s time in Dubuque.  Saturday will give the public an opportunity to participate in docent-led tours of Caldwell’s shelters and landscapes in Eagle Point Park.  For further information visit:  http://heritageworksdbq.com/festival/
###

Heritage Works Dubuque :: Dubuque Heritage Festival, Arthur Caldwell's Eagle Point Park

Architect of the Month: Alfred Caldwell, August 2016

Architect of the Month: Alfred Caldwell, August 2016

Caldwell (Credit Illinois Institute of Technology)

Alfred Caldwell (Photo Credit: Illinois Institute of Technology)

Alfred Caldwell (1903 – 1998), was a landscape architect who mastered the use of Prairie School style of architecture. Caldwell had an interest in nature from early on in his life continuing into high school when he worked part-time jobs with nurseries and landscape gardeners.
In 1921, he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study landscape architecture but his studies bored him and he preferred to craft his visions with work outside of the classroom. He left school and went to work for renowned landscape architect, Jens Jenson, in Chicago, from 1924-1931. Caldwell completed various jobs for his mentor, Jensen as their work relationship soon developed into a close friendship. After a short stint as a private practice landscape architect and with a recommendation from Jensen, Caldwell earned the position of superintendent of parks in Dubuque specifically overseeing the construction of Eagle Point Park from 1934 – 1936. He directed the construction of the shelter areas, the lily pond, and the ledge gardens and called his masterpiece a “City in a Garden.”

JJ&Caldwell

Alfred Caldwell with Jens Jenson

He left Dubuque in 1936 to accept the position of landscape designer for the Chicago Park District where he designed landscapes for hundreds of acres of Chicago’s parks, including the Lincoln Park Zoo lily pond. In 1945 Caldwell was hired by Mies van der Rohe to teach landscape architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) College of Architecture. IIT eventually awarded him a Master of Science in city planning in 1948. Caldwell left IIT in 1960 to teach at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.  He then later taught at the University of Southern California until 1973.

Caldwell returned to teaching at IIT in 1982 until his death in 1998. He was not only a gifted landscape architect but also did work as a civil engineer, city planner, and a prolific writer of poems and essays. Additionally, he was a critic of urban sprawl and advocated for environmental conservation. Throughout the remaining years of his life, he continued to develop a marvelous Prairie school landscape at his Bristol, Wisconsin farm. Dennis Domer, the author of Caldwell’s biography, labeled him as the last representative of the great Prairie School landscape architects.

EPP Bridge

Eagle Point Park Bridge

Caldwell’s work at Eagle Point Park will be examined and celebrated during Heritage Works’ upcoming inaugural Dubuque Heritage Festival on October 7 and 8.  The afternoon on October 7 will feature a symposium for architects, landscape architects, historic preservation professionals and anyone else interested in history, Caldwell’s work or historic landscapes.  Friday evening will feature a reception at the Dubuque Museum of Art and the opening of the museum’s exhibit of some of Caldwell’s drawings and other artifacts of Caldwell’s time in Dubuque.  Saturday will give the public an opportunity to participate in docent-led tours of Caldwell’s shelters and landscapes in Eagle Point Park.  For further information visit:  http://heritageworksdbq.com/festival/Heritage Works Dubuque :: Dubuque Heritage Festival, Arthur Caldwell's Eagle Point Park

John Mullany’s New Malleray Abbey Monastery

John Mullany’s New Malleray Abbey Monastery

New Melleray Abbey Monastery

Built: 1867 – 1870

Located in Peosta, Iowa at 6632 Melleray Circle

New Melleray Abbey Peosta

Corner view of the pointed windows and detailed stone work

Architect John Mullany is credited with the design of New Melleray Abbey. The New Melleray Abbey began with the Trappist monks who had left their home at the Mount Melleray Abbey in Ireland.  The monks left Ireland in the midst of the Great Famine in the late 1840s. Sailing to North America in search of a monastic site, they eventually came to the Iowa frontier, east of Dubuque where Bishop Loras offered them six hundred acres of land to settle. John Mullany’s brother, Patrick also emigrated to the United States and the Dubuque area. Patrick entered the Trappists, taking the name Brother Stanislaus. He was one of the original monks who founded the New Melleray Monastery at Peosta.

New Melleray Abbey Peosta 2

North Tower of the Abbey

Mullany’s plans called for four buildings of stone to be erected in the form of a square surrounding a court one hundred feet long by one hundred feet wide.  An 1871 Dubuque Daily Times article noted that “the stupendous monastery at New Melleray will be gazed upon, written about and pondered over by generations yet unborn. It is, in reality a gigantic pile of stone and mortar, tower and pinnacle, and when fully completed, according to the programme laid out by the projectors, will cover not less than three acres of ground, and with the exception of its twin brother in Nelson County, Kentucky, will be the largest institution of the kind in the world.”

The southern wing was intended to be the location of an imposing abbey church.  However, only the north and east buildings were constructed according to Mullany’s plans.  The north wing was originally intended to be the refectory, but became the Abbey church.  It remains a stunning example of Gothic Revival design with its stone construction and pointed arch windows.