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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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HEER, Fridolin Joseph, Jr.

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Fridolin J. Heer, Jr. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

HEER, Fridolin Joseph, Jr. (Canton Graubuden, Switzerland, Feb. 24, 1864-Dubuque, IA, Mar. 1, 1940). Fridolin HEER and his family emigrated to the United States in 1865. They first settled at Belleville, Illinois then two years in Chicago before coming to Dubuque in 1869. The younger Heer was educated in the public and parochial schools, LORAS COLLEGE and BAYLESS BUSINESS COLLEGE. He was then employed with Bankmar, Adler, and Sullivan, well-known Chicago architects. In 1881 he entered Campion College, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin from where he was graduated in 1883. Heer earned his doctorate in architecture in Stuttgardt, Germany, in 1886 and worked with his father in the firm of FRIDOLIN HEER & SON in Dubuque. (1)

The firm was responsible for the supervision of construction of many local commercial buildings. along with the homes of Henry L. STOUT, and Anthony F. HEEB. Among the buildings which he planned and erected in Dubuque, either in association with his father or individually, were the DUBUQUE COUNTY COURTHOUSE; the church, parochial school, and auditorium of the Sacred Heart parish; ST. JOSEPH ACADEMY; additions to St. Mary's Orphan Home; additions to St. Francis Mother House; St. Columbkille's Parochial School; SUNNYCREST SANITORIUM;MARY OF THE ANGELS HOME; DUBUQUE BREWING AND MALTING COMPANY buildings, BRUNSWICK-BALKE-COLLENDER COMPANY plant, Fischer Artificial Ice and Cold Storage Plant; Lorenz Laundry Plant; SECURITY BUILDING; and the BEHR'S FUNERAL HOME and Hoffmann Mortuary. They were also involved in the construction of the original Jackson, Irving, and Fulton public schools. (2)

After the death of his father, Heer continued the firm and maintained his office and drafting rooms in part of the "King Mansion," the former home of John KING. He was president of the Dubuque Gruetli Verein, a member of the Dubuque Schuetzen Gesellschaft and the Dubuque lodge of Elks, and a fellow of the American Institute of Architecture in which he had been chosen as fellow emeritus. On several occasions he served on national committees of this organization in Washington, D.C. Heer was a co-founder of the Iowa State Chapter of the Institute of Architecture. His only entrance into the political field was when he was elected to the original board of trustees of the City Water Works. (3)



1. "Fridolin J. Heer, Famed Architect Dies," Telegraph Herald, Mar. 3, 1940, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13405768

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

Jacobson, James E. "Key Dubuque Architects, Builders and Property Developers," The Architectural And Historical Resources of Dubuque, Iowa, 1837-1955, June 24, 2003, p. 157