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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Photo courtesy: Cathy's Treasures, 156 Main, Dubuque
VOELKER REALTY COMPANY. Founded in 1878, Voelker Realty Company was started by Christian Anton VOELKER. Beginning in 1890, he began erecting buildings throughout the city. "VOELKER STONE," a form of concrete, was one of his chosen building materials. In 1879 Voelker built a brick block at the corner of Thirteenth and Clay Streets and operated his business from that site for two years. He later built an adjoining store as he needed additional room.
Voelker cottage. Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
Voelker owned Woodlawn Park, an addition to Dubuque, which he laid out with two partners and later bought their interest. He was also involved with the development of Melrose Terrace, south Alta Vista, and Voelker Highlands. Voelker was just entering into his higher volume house building career as of 1906 when he offered several new cottages on Seminary Hill. His design was geared to efficiency. (1) Voelker noted “I am especially proud of their interior arrangement. They are planned for comfort, and are so compact that none could plan them better; they require the least possible amount of coal or wood for heating. There is no wasted space in them. The Telegraph Herald noted: “The Voelker Realty company has become known as a developer of neighborhoods. (2)
Seen in many parts of Dubuque, "Voelker Stone" was a new building material in Dubuque.

Voelker was given credit for establishing the 'monthly payment plan' for purchasers of his homes. At the time of his death, he was thought to have built between 760 and 800 residences.

The 1916-1917 White's Dubuque County Directory through the 1957 Dubuque City Directory listed 1300 Clay (Central) as the address.

Voelker Realty Group was listed in the 1966 through 1985 Dubuque City Directory at 1334 Central.

The 1987 Dubuque City Directory listed 929 Central.



1. Jacobsen, James E. Phase V: Dubuque Historical and Architectural Survey of the Fenelon Place, North Main and Broadway Neighborhoods, June 6, 2005, p. 72

2. Ibid.