Dieman & Fiske, Architects

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Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1898-1910; Lincoln, Nebraska, 1902-1910


Charles A. Dieman, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Ferdinand Comstock Fiske, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1898-1902); Lincoln, Nebraska (1902-1910)

Dieman & Fiske was one in a series of partnerships involving Lincoln architect Ferdinand Comstock Fiske. Fiske briefly had an independent practice in Cedar Rapids, from 1898 to 1900.[7] His partnership with Charles A. Dieman in Cedar Rapids, Iowa began in 1900 but expanded to also operate a Lincoln office when Fiske moved back to Lincoln around 1902. The Iowa office continued to be referred to as Dieman & Fiske while the Nebraska commissions were carried out under the names Fiske, Dieman & Meginnis and Fiske & Dieman.[19][g]

Charles Dieman was born in Wisconsin around 1873 to Charles Diemann, a Prussian-born carpenter. The family was in Milwaukee at the time of the 1880 U. S. Federal Census. By the time of the 1900 U. S. Federal Census, son Charles and his newly-wed wife Mabel (ca. 1876-1914) were residing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Charles had been advertising as an architect at least since 1898.[6][37][38][39][l] Mabel Dieman died in Cedar Rapids in 1914.[8] After the partnership with Fiske dissolved, Charles A. Dieman operated as C. A. Dieman & Co. in Cedar Rapids until 1922, when he closed that firm and moved to Denver, forming the firm Gardner-Perry-Dieman.[4][b] His second wife, Clara Barth Leonard Sorensen Dieman (1877-1959) was a noted artist, sculptor, and educator.[5][c]

This page lists the projects associated with the Cedar Rapids office of Dieman & Fiske. The projects associated with the Lincoln office are provided on a separate page titled Fiske & Dieman, as that was its contemporary identification.

This page is a contribution to the publication, Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. See the format and contents page for more information on the compilation and page organization.

Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings

Lincoln, Nebraska, 1902-1910

Lineage of the Firm

1900-1910: Dieman & Fiske, Architects, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

1902-1904: Fiske, Dieman & Meginnis, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1902-1910: Fiske & Dieman, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Buildings & Projects

Project for Auditorium (1899), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[9][18]f] By Dieman, preceding partnership.

Sokol Hall (1900), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[36][k]

Hotel Columbia (1900), Grundy Center, Iowa.[11]

J. H. Schindel frame house (1900), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[20]

Jas. L. Brown brick house (1900), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[20]

Jim Block (1900-1901), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[10]

Joseph Simon frame house (1901), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[22]

David and M. Maria Hughes house (1901), 101 W. Penn Street, Williamsburg, Iowa.[35][j]

George H. Hughes house (1902), Williamsburg, Iowa.[35][j]

York College Conservatory of Music (1902), York, Nebraska.[2][21]

Kirke house (ca. 1902), Mason City, Iowa.[1] (4s br. flat, $55,000)

Two houses for W. O. Johnson (1902), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[23]

Allison Hotel (1903-1904), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[33][i]

George Pinderknecht cottage (1904), Atkins, Iowa.[32]

Martin Evens house (1904), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[32]

L. E. Hibbard house (1904), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[32]

Two double residences for W. O. Johnson (1904), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[32]

J. P. Ellison house (1904), Martelle, Iowa.[34]

Mechanicsville Savings Bank (1904), Mechanicsville, Iowa.[26]

Syndicate block (1904), 2nd Avenue and 4th Street, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[27]

Atkins graded township school (1904), Atkins, Iowa.[28]

Business block for Perfection Manufacturing Company (1904), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[29]

Marion Carnegie Library (1904-1905), Marion, Iowa.[3][30][a]

Sokol Gymnasium (1908), 417 Third Street SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[36]

James W. and Ida G. Bowman House (1909), 1272 6th Avenue, Marion, Iowa.[12]


a. Marion is near the Cedar Rapids, one of the offices of the firm.

b. American Architect [and] Architectural Review (1922) reported "Charles A. Dieman, one of the pioneer architects in Iowa, has closed the business of C. A. Dieman and Company, in Cedar Rapids, and has gone to Denver, Col., where he has become affiliated with the firm of Gardner-Perry-Dieman. Mr. Gardner was at one time associated with Mr. Dieman in Cedar Rapids."[4]

c. Dieman's wife Clara "specialized in coordinating sculpture with building design...In Colorado she designed the exterior sculpture at the Colorado Business Bank that included the lobby coin ceiling and the terracotta tiles flanking the bronze entry doors. She also created the eagle forming the keystone above the entrance, as well as the decorative heads with images of people, birds and flowers for the two-story scagliola-finished metal quatrefoil columns circling the bank lobby."[5

d. In 1906, Lincoln Evening News reported a number of projects by "Fiske [sic] and Dieman" including the Orlo Apartments, listing the estimated cost at $45,000 and stating: "The walls are now being laid for the A. J. Sawyer apartment house at Fourteenth and K street."[12] Six drawings are filed with the building permit for this structure--four elevations and two plans.[17] Located at the southwest corner of 14th and K Streets opposite the State Capitol Grounds, the Orlo was demolished in 1981.

e. Six years after "Maple Lodge," the Ziemer House, was built, Sunday State Journal published a photo and two floor plans of the house, with a credit line "Fiske & Meginnis, Architects, Lincoln, Neb." It was one of a series of designs published in that newspaper in 1915, all credited to the then-current Fiske partnership, although some of the designs were constructed as early as 1902.[16]

f. Improvement Bulletin credited the Cedar Rapids Auditorium to Dieman and described it on June 24, 1899 as "It will be 96x136, stone and brick front, plaster sides, gravel roof, hard plaster, steam heat, yellow pine flooring and finish, electric light, iron stairs, metal or wire lath, plumbing, etc. Cost $20,000. Contract to be let in September." On August 12, 1899, that magazine published a perspective of "PROPOSED AUDITORIUM AT CEDAR RAPIDS, IA."[18] The Cedar Rapids Republican published the same perspective in March of that year, with a long "booster" article urging residents to purchase shares in the endeavor, noting the foundation and cornerstone had already been laid.[9] Historic postcards of the Cedar Rapids Auditorium show the date of 1899 on the cornice and three arched central entries of Dieman's design, but a single central tower rather than twin corner towers of the published perspective.

g. Improvement Bulletin announced on February 17, 1900 "Fine new quarters have been fitted up in the Granby block, Cedar Rapids, Ia., for the new architectural firm formed by C. A. Dieman and F. C. Fiske."[19]

h. The Illustrated History of York, Nebraska of 1903 mentions that at York College, "Another building has been projected and the work begun. The foundation is laid and the structure will be completed in 1903. It will be 80 x 36 feet, four floors, containing thirty-five rooms, besides halls, closets and bathr rooms. It will be heated by steam as is the main building and both supplied with city water and electric light. The building will be devoted to the conservatory of music and ladies' dormitory."[13]

i. Improvement Bulletin mentioned the Allison Hotel in Cedar Rapids as a proposal for a 5-story, 100x140, fireproof hotel in 1903. In 1904 the cost was estimated at $140,000.[33]

j. The Hughes House is a Free Classical Queen Anne house, built for a lumberman and his family. David Hughes' brother George H. Hughes also had Dieman & Fiske design his house, next-door to the David Hughes' home.[35]

k. Dieman designed two halls or gymnasiums for the Cedar Rapids Sokol organization, the first in 1900 and the second, larger facility in 1908. The second Sokol Gym is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. See https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13000274.pdf (accessed January 23, 2017).

l. Dieman was listed as 27 years old on his next birthday, and his bride Mabel Ferguson 24, in the record of their marriage on March 6, 1900, in Cedar Rapids. The 1900 Census lists his birth month and year as August 1870 and hers as January 1872, while the 1910 Census gives both of their ages as 37. The marriage record is deemed by the editor (EFZ) as the most likely reliable.[37][38][39]


1. Lincoln Trade Review 1:11 (1902), 4.

2. Lincoln Trade Review 1:13 (1902), 8. (2 story w/basement, 36x80, brick and stone).

3. An Architectural and Historical Survey of Public Libraries in Iowa, 1870-1940 MS (Iowa State Historic Preservation Office, 1980).

4. American Architect--Architectural Review (September 27,1922) v.122:1, 12.

5. Stan Cuba, The Denver Artists Guild, University Press of Colorado, 2015.

6. "Chas. A. Dieman, Architect," Cedar Rapids Republican (July 10, 1898), 7.

7. Improvement Bulletin (May 28, 1898), XVII:25, 16, listing Fiske's commission for three houses in Iowa.

8. "Mrs. Dieman Dies After Long Illness: Wife of Well Known Architect Passes Early Saturday Morning," Cedar Rapids Republican (November 22, 1914), 3.

9. "Design for Auditorium, Cedar Rapids, Ia. Chas. A. Dieman, Architect," Cedar Rapids Republican (March 26, 1899), 9.

10. "Prospectus of the Jim Block," Cedar Rapids Republican (December 1, 1900), 13.

11. Improvement Bulletin (June 2, 1900), 22:1, 24.

12. "Bowman, James W. and Ida G., House," National Register nomination, listed 2002. See https://focus.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/02001015 Accessed January 22, 2017.

13. The illustrated history of York, York County, Nebraska, Press of Wm. E. Stilson, York, Nebraska: 1903, 44.

14. temporarily left blank

15. City of Lincoln Building Permit #3486, issued November 15, 1909, estimated cost $20,000.

16. "Twentieth and Euclid avenue--Residence of Mrs. Julia Ziemer," (Lincoln, Nebraska) Sunday State Journal (May 28, 1915).

17. temporarily left blank

18. Improvement Bulletin (June 24, 1899), 14; (August 12, 1899), 21.

19. Improvement Bulletin (February 17, 1900), 14.

20. Improvement Bulletin (March 10, 1900), 18.

21. Improvement Bulletin (September 6, 1902), 21.

22. Improvement Bulletin (February 2, 1901), 30.

23. Improvement Bulletin (November 1, 1901), 22.

24. temporarily left blank

25. temporarily left blank

26. Improvement Bulletin (May 7, 1904), 22; (June 11, 1904), 22 (contractors selected).

27. Improvement Bulletin (May 21, 1904), 20. 3 stories, 60x140, pressed brick & cut stone, $30,000.

28. Improvement Bulletin (June 4, 1904), 20.

29. Improvement Bulletin (July 9, 1904), 18.

30. Improvement Bulletin (September 24, 1904), 21.

31. Improvement Bulletin (February 25, 1905), 22.

32. Improvement Bulletin (February 20, 1904), 20.

33. Improvement Bulletin (August 13, 1903), 20; (January 23, 1904), 21.

34. Improvement Bulletin (February 20, 1904), 21.

35. Natalie Pearson, "David and M. Maria Hughes House," nomination form to National Register of Historic Places, 1996. https://npgallery.nps.gov/nrhp/AssetDetail?assetID=011356b6-b2e0-4d44-8e4e-faa670424144 Accessed January 22, 2017.

36. Jan Olive Full, "Sokol Gymnasium," nomination to National Register of Historic Places, 2013. https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13000274.pdf Accessed January 23, 2017.

37. Ancestry.com. Iowa, Marriage Records, 1880-1937 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. S. V. "Mabel Ferguson," http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=KcQ940&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&db=iamarriagerec&gss=angs-d&new=1&rank=1&msT=1&gsfn=mabel&gsfn_x=0&gsln=ferguson&gsln_x=0&msypn__ftp=Cedar%20Rapids,%20Linn,%20Iowa,%20USA&msypn=42315&msypn_PInfo=8-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C18%7C0%7C1784%7C42315%7C0%7C0%7C&MSAV=1&mssng=charles&mssns=dieman&cp=0&catbucket=rstp&uidh=iw9&pcat=34&fh=0&h=903344855&recoff=&ml_rpos=1 Accessed January 29, 2017.

38. Ancestry.com 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. S. V. "Mable Dilman," http://interactive.ancestry.com/7602/004120107_00058?pid=14543988&backurl=http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DKcQ970%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26indiv%3D1%26db%3D1900usfedcen%26gss%3Dangs-d%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26gsfn%3DCharles%26gsfn_x%3D0%26gsln%3DDieman%26gsln_x%3D0%26msbdy%3D1873%26msbdy_x%3D1%26msbdp%3D2%26msbpn__ftp%3DMilwaukee,%2520Milwaukee,%2520Wisconsin,%2520USA%26msbpn%3D54011%26msbpn_PInfo%3D8-%257C0%257C1652393%257C0%257C2%257C0%257C52%257C0%257C2025%257C54011%257C0%257C0%257C%26msypn__ftp%3DCedar%2520Rapids,%2520Linn,%2520Iowa,%2520USA%26msypn%3D42315%26msypn_PInfo%3D8-%257C0%257C1652393%257C0%257C2%257C0%257C18%257C0%257C1784%257C42315%257C0%257C0%257C%26mssng%3DMable%26gskw%3Darchitect%26MSAV%3D1%26uidh%3Diw9%26pcat%3D35%26fh%3D4%26h%3D14543988%26recoff%3D%26ml_rpos%3D5&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=KcQ970&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true Accessed January 29, 2017.

39. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. S. V. "Charles A. Dieman," http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=KcQ975&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&db=1910uscenindex&gss=angs-d&new=1&rank=1&msT=1&gsfn=C.%20A.&gsfn_x=0&gsln=Dieman&gsln_x=0&msypn__ftp=Cedar%20Rapids,%20Linn,%20Iowa,%20USA&msypn=42315&msypn_PInfo=8-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C18%7C0%7C1784%7C42315%7C0%7C0%7C&msbdy_x=1&msbdp=2&MSAV=1&msbdy=1873&msbpn__ftp=Milwaukee,%20Milwaukee,%20Wisconsin,%20USA&msbpn=54011&msbpn_PInfo=8-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C52%7C0%7C2025%7C54011%7C0%7C0%7C&mssng=Mable&gskw=architect&cp=0&catbucket=rstp&uidh=iw9&pcat=35&fh=0&h=7451658&recoff=&ml_rpos=1 Accessed January 29, 2017.

Page Citation

E. F. Zimmer and D. Murphy, “Dieman & Fiske, Architects,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, February 1, 2017. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, September 29, 2023.

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