Edwin J. Kriz (1898-1981), Architect
Edwin J. Kriz was born July 1, 1898 in rural Cumings County near Howells, Nebraska, the son of Charles and Josephine Kriz. His father was a carpenter in Howells and Edwin assisted him. After serving in the Army in 1918, Edwin attended Northwestern University and received an architectural degree in 1920. He married Edna Fairman in 1922 and they resided in Omaha where he worked for an engineering firm as an architect. He went into business for himself, residing and practicing in several Nebraska communities including Omaha, Fremont, Lincoln, Omaha again, Scottsbluff-Gering, and Grand Island where he retired in 1960 and died in January 1981.
Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings
Fremont, Nebraska, 1929, 1931, 1935-1936, 1943, 1947
Lincoln, Nebraska, 1936-1940
Omaha, Nebraska, 1923, 1941-1945, 1969-1974
Scottsbluff-Gering, Nebraska, 1949-1951
Grand Island, Nebraska, 1945-1948, 1949-1976
Educational & Professional Associations
1918: architectural student, Armours Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois.
1919-1920: Northwestern University, degree in architecture.
1922: "manager of the building department of the Henningson Engineering Co. of Omaha."[c]
1923: secretary and general manager, Omaha Construction Company (general contractors).[e]
1927-1928: architect, building inspector, Fremont, Nebraska.
1949-1965: architect, Grand Island, Nebraska.[a]
1966-1967: architect and owner, EJ Kriz, Architect, Grand Island, Nebraska.
1968: architect, 424 E Hall St., Grand Island, Nebraska.[b]
Buildings & Projects
New Zion Presbyterian Church (1922), Northwest Corner 4th & Maple, Clarkson, Nebraska. (CX01-039)
Residence, barn and garage for Gust Lersh (1927), "on the farm southwest of Fremont [Nebraska] on the Indian Trail, directly south of Grahams Gardens."
"Dr. Moore's Spanish Court Residences" (1927-1928), 1230 and 1246 North Park Avenue at East Linden Avenue, Fremont, Nebraska.
Odd Fellows lodge building (1927-1928), 635 North Main Street, Fremont, Nebraska.
Parkside Apartments (1928), 836 North Main Street, Fremont, Nebraska.
"Plans for a new store" (1930), Schuyler, Nebraska.
Edward Varejcka house (1932), 14th & B Streets, Schuyler, Nebraska.
Edward F. Ostrdosky house (1935), West 11th Street, Schuyler, Nebraska.
District 28 rural school house (1935-1936), Schuyler vicinity, Nebraska.
Addition to Dudek's hardware store (1936), Schuyler, Nebraska.
Office building and chapel for Schuyler Cemetery (1937), Schuyler, Nebraska.
Pleasant Hill School District No. 43 (1937-1938), Schuyler vicinity, Nebraska.
Joseph F. Pimper house, Howells, Nebraska.
A. A. Pimper house, Howells, Nebraska.
Joseph F. Blazek house, Howells, Nebraska.
Leander Ernesti house, Howells, Nebraska.
Howells Public School music room, Howells, Nebraska.
Howells area filling stations, Nebraska.
a. First Grand Island directory listing, 1949.
b. Last Grand Island directory listing, 1968.
c. Schuyler Sun newspaper reported as "Clarkson News" in 1922 that "E. J. Krez, formerly of Howells, now manager of the building department of the Henningson Eningeering [sic] Co. of Omaha, was in last Sunday and Monday, meeting with the building committee of the local Presbyterian congregation for the purpose of submitting plans and cost of the proposed new church. Mr. Kriz, though a young man, has practical knowledge of the work of this line, having attended one of the foremost architectural colleges in the country. The plans he submitted met with the approval of the committee, however, nothing definite had been done. The new structure is to be built of pressed brick and the dimensions will be about 40x70. The estimated cost of the new edifice is placed at about $30,000."
d. A Lincoln newspaper reported in 1928 "Architect's plans for the new Odd Fellows lodge building to be put up in York this summer, submitted by E. J. Kriz of Fremont, have been accepted and work will begin in the near future on the building. The building will be 30 by 60, two stories high, of dark face brick and terra cotta."
e. Omaha directory listing, and mention in 1929 Lincoln Evening Journal article "E. J. Kriz Bankrupt," stating his liabilities were $36,000 and assets $515, with "A judgment of $29,000 secured against Kriz by the U. S. Fidelity and Guarantee company and the Omaha Construction company was the principalability [principal liability] listed."
f. The description of the new automotive service station noted that the plans and specifications came from the Shell Petroleum Corporation's Saint Louis office, but "Revisions, which were found advisable in the plans to meet local conditions, were made by E. J. Kriz, Lincoln architect."
g. Kriz lost a lawsuit in 1921 against James Palik of Howells, claiming that as architect for the rebuilding of Palik's house, he was owed $325. Palik claimed they had an agreement for a fee of $25; that was what Kriz was awarded.
h. In 1923, the Schuyler Sun reported that a plasterer and bricklayer from Howells had taken a contract "for doing the work in his line" on five cottages in Omaha "for the erection of which Edwin Kriz, former Howells boy, has the contract."
i. In 1928, Kriz was hired by Bohumil Beran to design a 340-seat cinema for Clarkson, Nebraska.
1. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
2. A Comprehensive Program for Historic Preservation in Omaha (Omaha: Omaha City Planning Department, 1980), 92-93.
3. "Clarkson News," Schuyler (Nebraska) Sun (February 2, 1922), 2.
4. "E. J. Kriz Co. Architects, Office at Residence of Mrs. A. H. Dyer," advertisement in Fremont (Nebraska) Tribune (May 30, 1927), 6; (February 13, 1928), 6.
5. "Notice to Contractors," Fremont (Nebraska) Tribune (July 25, 1917), 3.
6. "Church Not Built According to Rule--Fremont Council to Decide Who Must Pay for Change," Columbus (Nebraska) Telegram (July 30, 1927), 1.
7. "New Building Projects--Broken Bow to Have Hotel, York Lodge Building...," Lincoln (Nebraska) State Journal (April 14, 1928), 8.
8. "Completion of Parkside Apartment Building is Important Development," (two-page article/advertisements including "This building was designed and built under supervision of E. J. Kriz Company Architects"), Fremont (Nebraska) Tribune (October 20, 1928), 8-9.
9. "Edwin Kriz dies; funeral held Jan. 22," Schuyler (Nebraska) Sun (January 29, 1981), 18.
10. "E. J. Kriz Bankrupt." Lincoln (Nebraska) Evening Journal (August 7, 1929), 3.
11. "More Building Activity Seen Over Nebraska," Lincoln (Nebraska) Sunday Star (November 23, 1930), 4.
12. "Varejcka Home Open," Schuyler (Nebraska) Sun (September 1, 1932), 4.
13. "Nebraska Oil Co. New Master Service Station Will Be Open to Public Friday Morning; Modern Features Embodied," Schuyler (Nebraska) Sun (January 10, 1935), 1.
14. "Framework of New Home is Completed," Schuyler (Nebraska) Sun (August 8, 1935), 1.
15. "District 28 Given WPA Grant for New School," Schuyler (Nebraska) Sun (February 27, 1936), 1.
16. "Dudek's to Erect New Addition," Colfax County Call (Schuyler, Nebraska) (March 26, 1936), 1.
17. "Notice to Bidders," Schuyler (Nebraska) Sun (August 26, 1937), 7.
18. "Action On Cemetery Chapel Bids Deferred Until Next Monday," Schuyler (Nebraska) Sun (September 23, 1937), 1.
19. "Laying School Cornerstone," Lincoln (Nebraska) Sunday Journal and Star (January 9, 1938), 24.
20. "Wonder Home Open Today! 1440 Otoe Street...Designed by E. J. Kriz, Architect," Lincoln (Nebraska) Sunday Journal and Star (October 2, 1938), 11-B.
21. World War I Draft Registration Card, s. v. "Edwin Joseph Kriz," on-line at Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005, accessed January 17, 2020.
22. "Howells Notes," Weekly Schuyler (Nebraska) Sun (February 1, 1923), 2.
23. Weekly Schuyler (Nebraska) Sun (April 28, 1921), 1.
24. Weekly Schuyler (Nebraska) Sun (November 1, 1928), 6.
25. "New Spanish Home Open to Public Sunday" and accompanying advertisement, Fremont (Nebraska) Tribune (January 14, 1928), 6.
26. "New Odd Fellows Temple to be Dedicated Tonight" with advertisements and illustration, Fremont (Nebraska) Evening Tribune (June 25, 1928), 1, 5.
D. Murphy & E. Zimmer, “Edwin J. Kriz (1898-1981), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, January 31, 2020. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, April 9, 2020.
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