Ferdinand Comstock Fiske (1856-1930), Architect

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Ferdinand C. Fiske
Lincoln, Nebraska, 1887-1930

Ferdinand Fiske was born in Ellisburg, New York in 1856, but was raised in Maquoketa, Iowa, where he attended high school.[1][5][27] Fiske studied architecture at Cornell University from 1878-1880, but did not complete his degree.[1][5][27] He worked as a draftsman for George M. Goodwin in Minneapolis, then in 1886 partnered with him as Goodwin & Fiske. That same year Fiske married Katherine Burgess at West Winfield, New York.[28][g] They relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1887, where he commenced four decades of major architectural works.[1] During the economic depression of the 1890s, Fiske relocated to Saint Louis, Missouri in 1895, then to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1897-1901, before returning to practice in Lincoln for nearly three more decades.[39][40][i][k]

Fiske was senior partner in a series of firms during his forty years in Lincoln. He spent seven years as the architect of the Lincoln Board of Education.[7] He was a charter member of the Lincoln Country Club, the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, and the First Plymouth Congregational Church.[7] Ferdinand and Katherine had one daughter, Helen, who was born in 1889 and died (as Mrs. Helen Fiske Steckley) in 1913. F. C. Fiske died January 26, 1930 at age 72.[7][27][89]

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

Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings

Lincoln, Nebraska, 1889-1895, 1902-1930

Educational & Professional Associations

1878-1880: architecture student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.[5]

1884-1885: draftsman for George M. Goodwin, Minneapolis, Minnesota.[29][h]

1886: architect and partner, Goodwin & Fiske, Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1]

1887: architect, Minneapolis, Minnesota.[29][h]

1887: architect, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1888-1889: architect and partner, Fiske & Peters, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1890-1895: architect, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1895-1897: architect, Saint Louis, Missouri.[46][47][k][m]

1897-1900: architect, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

1900-1910: architect and partner, Dieman & Fiske, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

1901-1910: architect and partner, Fiske & Dieman, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1901-1904: architect and partner, Fiske, Dieman & Meginnis, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1910-1913: architect, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1913-1914: architect and partner, Fiske & Miller, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.[24]

1915-1924: architect and partner, Fiske & Meginnis, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.[59]

1925: architect and partner, Fiske, Meginnis & Schaumberg, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.

1926-1930: architect, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Other Associations

1891: employed Edwin B. Collins as a draftsman (per Lincoln city directory).

1891-1895: employed F. W. Spencer as a draftsman.

1905-1907: employed E. G. Ward as a draftsman.

1910-1913: employed Walter F. Wilson (1892-1970), Architect, as part-time draftsman.

1910-1913: engaged "consulting architect" F. W. Fitzpatrick of Washington, DC for renderings.

1925: Plans for an unrealized apartment house project in Lincoln are inscribed F. C. Fiske and Miller & Craig, Associated Architects.

1925: employed F. Wilbur Griffin as a draftsman (with Fiske, Meginnis & Schaumberg).[94][x]

1927: associated with F. Wilbur Griffin.[94][x]

Buildings & Projects

1884-1887 (Minneapolis)

F. C. Fiske was listed in Minneapolis city directories from 1884 to 1887, first as a draftsman for architect George M. Goodwin, then in 1886 as a partner in Goodwin & Fiske. Goodwin and Fiske appear to have practiced separately in 1887, before Fiske relocated to Lincoln and Goodwin shifted to working for an architectural magazine in Minneapolis. Little is known of Goodwin's work as an architect or the partnership's output, although later accounts of Fiske's experience point to his beginnings in Minneapolis, and one source points to the large warehouse cited below.[1][h][i]

Fidelity Warehouse (1887), 322-326 Third Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota.[36][37][38[j]

1887-1895 (Lincoln, Nebraska)

Fiske is identified in Lincoln directories of 1888 and 1889 as partnering with G. W. Peters, but only a single project of their work of those years has been found that is credited to the name of Fiske & Peters, so all the rest of each man's projects are listed on his own page. Fiske accomplished a major body of work in his early years in Lincoln including churches, residences from single-family homes to row houses, commercial buildings, and schools. He was contracted to design a high school by the Lincoln school board, but the $100,000 bond issue approved for that project was declared invalid in 1895, perhaps contributing to Fiske's decision to seek work elsewhere, first in Saint Louis and then in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A lawsuit between Fiske and the Lincoln school board for his fee for the high school design was settled in Fiske's favor in 1900, and after his return to Lincoln he had major commissions for public school buildings.

Latta Building (a.k.a. Brownell Block) (1888), Lincoln, Nebraska.[1][2][12][102]

Two-story brick building (1888), Saint Paul, Nebraska.[90][v]

Lyman Terrace (1889-1890), 1111-1119 H, Lincoln, Nebraska.[9] (LC13:C08-031) National Register narrative

YMCA Building (1889-1890), southwest corner of 13th & N, Lincoln, Nebraska.[1][9][80][95][y]

Hurlbut-Yates house (1890), 720 S. 16th (at G St), Lincoln, Nebraska.[1][9] (LC13:D07-0001) National Register narrative

Brace Block (1890), southeast corner of 15th & O, Lincoln, Nebraska.[1][7][9]

Second Presbyterian Church (1890), East Lincoln, Nebraska.[1][9][b]

William Barr double house (1890), 1038 H and 709 S 11th St, Lincoln, Nebraska.[9]

F. A. Korsmeyer house (1890), 1840 E St, Lincoln, Nebraska.[9][10] (LC13:D07-0028)

C. H. Imhoff house (1890), 1826 D St, Lincoln, Nebraska.[9][10]

Mrs. E. Flick double house (1890), southwest corner of 13th & F Sts (1311 F & 910 S 13th), Lincoln, Nebraska.[9]

Barr & Barnes Terrace (1890-1891), 627-631-635-643 S 11th, Lincoln, Nebraska.[9] (LC13:C08-027) National Register narrative

Plans for F. W. Baldwin residence (1891), SW corner of 18th & E, Lincoln, Nebraska.[91]

Design for University of Nebraska library (1891), Lincoln, Nebraska.[8][n]

Barnes-Walsh Apartment House (1891), 11th & H, Lincoln (LC13:C08-103) (Deed Res.)

Review and recommendations (with Artemas Roberts) on condition of Lincoln High School (1891), Fifteenth Street between M and N Streets, Lincoln, Nebraska.[97]

Motor House for Lincoln Street Railway (1891), northwest corner of 9th & K Streets, Lincoln, Nebraska.[101]

First Universalist Church (1892-1893), northwest corner of 12th & H, Lincoln, Nebraska.[1][80][84][85]

Sanitarium of the Lincoln Sulpho-Saline Bath Company (1892-1893), Lincoln, Nebraska.[6][69]

Supervising architect for R. E. Moore house (1892), northwest corner of 18th & E, Lincoln, Nebraska.[48][o]

Supervising architect for A. W. Jansen house (1892), southeast corner of 25th & N, Lincoln, Nebraska.[48][o]

Baldwin Terrace (1892), northwest corner of 12th & K, Lincoln, Nebraska.[57][q]

Lionel C. Burr house (1892), 1503 H, Lincoln, Nebraska.[53][92][c]

David & Jeanette Thompson Mansion (from 1900 served as the governor's mansion), (ca. 1892) 15th & H St., Lincoln, Nebraska. [12][c]

Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church (1892-1893), NW corner 16th & A, Lincoln, Nebraska.[80][81][86][88]

J. A. Buckstaff house (before 1893), 1644 G, Lincoln, Nebraska.[1]

Synagogue for B'nai Jeshurun (1893), 12th & D Streets, Lincoln, Nebraska.[58][83][r]

Addition to Park Elementary School (1893-1894), S 8th & F Streets Lincoln, Nebraska.[80][82]

Saratoga Elementary School (1893-1894), S 13th Street, south of South Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[80][82]

Vine Street (later named Whittier Elementary) School (1893-1894), Lincoln, Nebraska.[80][82]

Plans and specifications of a new High School (1893-1894), Lincoln, Nebraska.[42][43][44][45][l]

Charles Mayer house (1894), northwest corner of 15th & K Streets, Lincoln, Nebraska.[96]

1895-1897 (Saint Louis)

Fiske's sojourn to Saint Louis in search of work apparently was not successful. It is uncertain whether the one project mentioned below resulted in a completed building.

"Plans for an elaborate community house" (1896), Saint Louis.[46][47[m]

1897-1900 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Fiske relocated to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1897, practicing independently for a few years.

Mrs. Martha Weare House (1898-1902), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[41][a]

Maurice Seely House (1898), Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[41][a]

J. M. Swigart House (1898), Maquoketa, Iowa.[41][a]

1900-1910 (Cedar Rapids & Lincoln)

In 1900 Fiske began a productive decade partnering with Cedar Rapids architect Charles A. Dieman. Fiske continued to reside in Cedar Rapids until 1901, while the firm of Dieman & Fiske found work in both Iowa and Lincoln, Nebraska. Fiske returned to Lincoln in 1901 and the firm advertised dual offices in Cedar Rapids and Lincoln until 1910[w]. In Nebraska, the partnership was generally referred to as Fiske & Dieman. See Dieman & Fiske, Architects for their Iowa projects in this period and both Fiske, Dieman & Meginnis, Architects and Fiske & Dieman, Architects for their Nebraska work.

1910-1913 (Lincoln, Nebraska)

The decade-long partnership of F. C. Fiske and C. A. Dieman ended in 1910. Fiske continued his solo Lincoln practice for a few busy years, before entering into a succession of partnerships. While the bulk of his work in this period was residential, he also accomplished a striking Prairie School design for a large religious project, Grace Methodist Episcopal Church; a large warehouse and a seed elevator in Lincoln's wholesale district; and the Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph Co. headquarters.

Frame house for W. H. Kearns (1910), 3216-3220 X Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[25]

Seed elevator for Griswold Seed Company (1910), 749 N Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[26]

Addition to Miller & Paine Department Store (1910), 1221 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[62]

Charles Stuart house (1910), 1830 E, Lincoln, Nebraska.[10][49] (LC13:D07-027)

Grace Methodist Church (1910-1913), 27th & R, Lincoln, Nebraska.[15][50][59][73][p]

Stuart Aunties House (1911), 1935 D, Lincoln, Nebraska.[10][17] (LC13:D07-0043)

Laura B. Hall Bungalow (1911), 2025 S. 26th, Lincoln, Nebraska.[16]

House by Fiske, on his own account (1911), 2115 Garfield, Lincoln, Nebraska.[56] (LC13:D06-0668)

Alice Hawes House (1911), 1511 D St., Lincoln, Nebraska.[18]

Hauptman House (1911), 1655 S. 23rd, Lincoln, Nebraska.[19]

Addition to business building for Frank Lake (1911), 1425-1427 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[65]

One-story addition for State Journal Company (1911), 908 P Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[66]

Addition and remodeling for R. E. Moore (1911), 1329 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[67]

Additional story for building at southwest corner of 12th & M (1911), 301-317 South 12th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[68]

Hildreth-Grainger House (1912), 2105 B St., Lincoln, Nebraska.[10][59][63][64] (LC13:D07-0611)

J. F. Hutchins House (1912), 2120 B St., Lincoln, Nebraska.[10][20][59] (LC13:D07-0575)

Edwin & Helen (Fiske) Steckley House (1912), 1900 Pepper, Lincoln, Nebraska.[21][89][u] (LC13:D06-0253)

Stacy Bros. Building (1912), 800 P Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[70][71]

Grainger Brothers 1912 Warehouse (1912), 105 N. 8th, Lincoln, Nebraska.[51][71]

Ed S. Miller House (1912), 2035 B Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[59][60]

Lincoln Telephone Company Building (1912-1913), 1342 M Lincoln, Nebraska.[11][54][55][59][d]

Harry E. Sidles house (1913-1915), 2120 A St, Lincoln, Nebraska.[4][10][22][59][e] (LC13:D07-0625)

1913-1914 (Lincoln, Nebraska)

Jesse B. Miller joined Fiske's practice as a draftsman in the spring of 1907, then became the junior partner in Fiske & Miller in March, 1913. The firm was dissolved "by mutual consent" in 1914 and Miller commenced an independent architectural practice in Lincoln. See Fiske & Miller, Architects for the projects of their partnership in 1913 and 1914.[23][24][59][f]

1915-1924 (Lincoln, Nebraska)

The "New Firm" of Fiske & Meginnis was announced in January, 1915, but the association of F. C. Fiske and Harry Meginnis went back at least to the beginning of the century, when Meginnis became a draftsman in the Cedar Rapids office of Dieman & Fiske. Meginnis was born and educated in Maquoketa, Iowa, where Fiske's family settled during his childhood and where Ferdinand attended high school. While Fiske was a generation older than Meginnis, it seems likely that their connection had its roots in Maquoketa. Fiske & Meginnis were highly prolific in their decade of partnership, designing many residences, several public schools, and large commercial buildings, many of which remain in Lincoln and the region. See the page on Fiske & Meginnis, Architects for their projects.

1924-1925 (Lincoln, Nebraska)

After joining the firm of Fiske & Meginnis around 1923 as a draftsman, Edward Schaumberg became a partner in 1924. See Fiske, Meginnis & Schaumberg for their projects. Before the end of 1925, Meginnis & Schaumberg separated from Ferdinand Fiske, who practiced independently until his death in 1930.

1925-1930 (Lincoln, Nebraska)

Fiske continued designing buildings in a solo practice until his death in 1930 at age 72.

Project for an apartment house for Dr. W. Clyde Davis (ca. 1925), 20th & E Streets, Lincoln, Nebraska.[74][s]

Frey House (1925), 2810 South 27th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[75][79]

Small house on Fiske's own account (1925), 3740 Everett Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[72]

Alpha Omicron Pi House (1926), 1541 S Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[3][10][52] (LC13:D09-520)

House (1926), 2840 Winthrop Road, Lincoln, Nebraska.[75][76]

J. R. Kinder House (1927), 1144 Crestdale Road, Lincoln, Nebraska.[94][x]

Herpolsheimer House (1928), 2330 Van Dorn, Lincoln, Nebraska.[75][77] (LC13:D05-565)

Skiles-Beynon House (1928), 2310 Woodscrest Avenue, Lincoln, Nebraska.[75][78] (LC13:D05-551)

Swift Lumber and Fuel Co. office (ca. 1929), SW corner of 33rd St. & Sheridan Blvd., College View (now Lincoln), Nebraska.[103][z]

Disputed Attributions

Proposal for Nebraska State Building, World's Columbian Exposition (1892).[87][98][99][100][t]


a. Improvement Bulletin listed "Cedar Rapids, Ia.--Mrs. Martha Weare has had plans prepared by F. C. Fiske, architect, for a dwelling. It will be 2-story, 32x40, frame, with steam heat, electric bells, mantel, plumbing, screens. Cost $3,000. The same architect has prepared plans for a dwelling for Maurice Seely, to be 2-story, frame. He has also prepared plans for a dwelling for J. M. Swigart, of Maquoketa, to be 2-story, frame, 28x35."[7] The Weare House was built at 853 A Ave. NE, then was moved (ca. 1913) to 215 Crescent St., SE, both in Cedar Rapids.

b. "Second Presbyterian Church" credited to Fiske by Pen & Sunlight Sketches of Lincoln was not the church of that name demolished around 2004 from the southeast corner of 26th & P Streets, but rather its apparent predecessor. Fisher & Lawrie, Architects designed the replacement building ca. 1902.

c. Lincoln Daily News of June 30, 1892 included a "Notice to Contractors" indicating "Bids will be received for the erection and completion of a residence for L. C. Burr. Plans may be seen at the office of F. C. Fiske, architect, Burr block."[53] Attorney Lionel C. Burr was listed as residing at 1503 H Street in the 1896 Lincoln City Directory. Burr's house was directly east across S. 15th Street (now Goodhue Boulevard) from the Thompson house (later Nebraska's Governor's Mansion). The Thompson/Governor's residence had two-stories of porches wrapping the north and east street facades. The Burr residence (purchased in 1904 by Charles Bills) had a single-story porch which wrapped the north façade and half-way down both east and west sides, with rounded northeast and northwest corners.[92]

d. The City of Lincoln building permit for the Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph Co. Building listed W. L. Campbell as the contractor, with the application made "By G. H. Ellsworth." Gilbert H. Ellsworth was an engineer and superintendent who collaborated with Berlinghof on the Rudge & Guenzel Department Store and later worked for Davis & Wilson as a superintendent. The Nebraska State Journal of January 5, 1913 published a rendering for Fiske's LT&T Building design which can be attributed to F. W. Fitzpatrick, a consulting architect from Washington, D.C. who prepared watercolor renderings for Berlinghof and Berlinghof & Davis, as well as for Fiske.[54][55] In 1926, a fourth floor was added to the three-story building. Davis & Wilson designed the addition.

e. The building permits for the Sidles house in April 1913 list "Ferd C. Fiske" as the architect. By May 1913, "Fiske & Miller" were consistently listed on permits. When the house design was published in Nebraska State Journal in 1915, along with several other Fiske designs dating as early as 1902, all of them were identified with the subsequent partnership of Fiske & Meginnis.[4][10][22].

f. An entry on Jesse Boaz Miller in Who's Who in Lincoln of 1928 declares with specificity that after serving as a draftsman in Fiske's office from the spring of 1907 until March 1913, Miller became the junior partner in Fiske & Miller until September 1, 1915, when he began an independent practice. However, Fiske published a notice in a Lincoln newspaper of September 7, 1914 that the "co-partnership" of Fiske & Miller "is here hereby dissolved by mutual consent." Furthermore, Fiske announced a new firm with Harry Meginnis in January 1915, supporting the more limited span of the Fiske & Miller association.[23][24][59]

g. Saint Paul Globe reported on June 15, 1886 that "Invitations are out announcing the marriage of Fred C. Fiske of Goodwin & Fiske, architects of this City, to Miss Kate Burgess, at West Winfield, N.Y., June 23. After July 15 Mr. and Mrs. Fiske will be at home at 1021 First avenue north."[28]

h. George M. Goodwin (1846-1892) was a native of Maine who first appeared in the Minneapolis city directories in 1878, listed as an architect. The 1880 U. S. Census found architect Goodwin and his wife "Rosalie" boarding in Minneapolis in the household of William and Martha Pattee. Fiske was associated with Goodwin in 1884 and 1885 as a draftsman. The 1886 Minneapolis directory is the only year to list the firm of Goodwin & Fiske, architects. Goodwin was also on the board of directors of the Western Association of Architects in 1886. [33] In 1887 Goodwin and Fiske were listed as practicing separately, at different Minneapolis addresses. Rose Pattee Goodwin died in 1887 at age 36 and was interred in Monroe, Maine. G. M. Goodwin was listed as the secretary/treasurer of the Minneapolis-based Northwestern Architect and Improvement Record magazine from 1888-1890. He died in Boston in 1892 at age 46 and was also interred at Monroe, Maine.[29][30][31][32]

i. Pen and Sunlight Sketches of Lincoln of 1893 refers to "...the business...established in Minneapolis in 1886 by Messrs. Goodman [sic] and Fiske..."[1] An 1893 Lincoln, Nebraska newspaper noted of Fiske: "Prior to his coming to Lincoln as a member of the firm of Goodwin & Fiske he designed some of the finest business and residence buildings in Minneapolis."[34] Improvement Bulletin in 1897 reported "F. C. Fiske, the architect who has recently located at Cedar Rapids, Ia., was formerly in Minneapolis, a member of the well known firm of Goodwin & Fiske."[35] When he partnered with Cedar Rapids architect Charles A. Dieman, a description in 1901 of their credentials cited "an experience of eighteen years in this profession," suggesting a starting point of 1883 (about the time Fiske began work in Minneapolis in Goodwin's office), and one Minneapolis building is included among the nineteen projects identified, the "Weaver Storage house."[36] Nine Lincoln projects were also cited.

j. Fidelity Warehouse at 322-326 Third Avenue North in Minneapolis was a five-story brick and stone warehouse built for the Weaver brothers in 1887, for an estimated $20,000.[37] It was operated as "Fidelity Warehouse" by Weaver & Stockwell, who were identified in Minneapolis directories as Homer M. and J. Dell Weaver and S. A. Stockwell.[38]

k. Nebraska State Journal reported in 1895 that Fiske was moving to St. Louis due to the scarcity of building activity in Lincoln. He was listed as an architect in the St. Louis city directory of 1897. Improvement Bulletin noted in 1898 that Fiske "has removed from Lincoln, Neb., to Cedar Rapids, Ia. Mr. Fiske deigned man prominent buildings at Lincoln, and was the architect for the school board for some time." That source adds the note "He was in the office of Architect Jenney, of Chicago, at one time," a connection nowhere else mentioned.[39][40]

l. Lincoln Board of Education passed $100,000 bond in April 1893 for a new high school on the high school block (15th to 16th, M to N Streets). A public meeting in February 1894 urged deferral; board moved ahead with a limit of $75,000. Bids were received and opened but no further steps were taken. Eventually the bond issue was ruled illegal and the bonds were nullified.[42][43] Fiske sued in 1895 for unpaid fees for the various design work, including $1350 for the high school design. The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled in his favor in 1900.[44][45]

m. In March 1895 Fiske advertised in a Saint Louis newspaper for "HOUSE--Wanted, to rent, 5, 6, or 7-room house or flat; furnace and all convs, with or without stable; West Side preferred. Add., stating price and location, F. C. Fiske, 801 Union Trust Bldg." In 1896 Saint Louis Post-Dispatch noted "Architect F. C. Fiske is also preparing plans for an elaborate community house. It is said to approach more nearly to the regulation Eastern apartment house than any of those mentioned except that on Lindell avenue."[46][47]

n. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln website on its historic buildings indicates two designs were submitted for its Library in 1891--one from the Lincoln architects Fiske, Shaffer, and Ellis; the other (which was selected) from the Omaha firm Mendelssohn, Fisher and Lawrie.[8]

o. Lincoln Daily Call of January 1, 1893 identifies Fiske as the supervising architect for the R. E. Moore house and the A. W. Jansen house. Both were large, masonry, Queen Anne style residences. Lincoln architect James Tyler is credited as the designer of the Moore home, which stood on the site now occupied by Hazel Abel Park. The designer of the Jansen house has not been identified.[48

p. As early as July 24, 1910, Nebraska State Journal published an image of a F. W. Fitzpatrick rendering for Grace Methodist, captioned as "Accepted plan...As prepared by Mr. Fiske." The caption makes no mention of Dieman and the original rendering (still extant in 2017) is inscribed "Grace M. E. Church Lincoln F. C. Fiske, Archt" as well as signed "Fitzpatrick [19]10."[50]

q. Lincoln Daily News of April 26, 1892 carried a "Notice Contractors" seeking bids for the completion of the foundation of Baldwin Terrace, noting "Plans and specifications can been seen at the office of F. C. Fiske, architect..."[57]

r. Nebraska State Journal of July 1893 noted the construction of a new house of worship for "the Reformed Hebrew congregation" in Lincoln. "The style of architecture is modified from a Russian mosque and the plans were furnished by F. C. Fiske." Lincoln Daily News of September 9, 1893 reported on the dedication of a new synagogue in Lincoln: "The temple is on the corner of D and Twelfth street, and was designed and built under the guidance of Architect F. C. Fiske of this city. In its architecture the mosque order prevails. The exterior is faced with chipped brick with trimmings of light Black Hills sandstone and galvanized iron." "Jewish Synagogue" is also included among the listed works by Dieman and/or Fiske in a Cedar Rapids newspaper in 1901, not long after Dieman & Fiske began their partnership.[58][80][83]

s. Blueprints for a three story apartment house for Davis at 20th & E Streets depict two large units per floor with a living room, dining room, kitchen and breakfast nook, and a single bedroom at the rear. These plans are the only known project associating Fiske with the partnership of Jesse B. Miller and Fritz Craig. Fiske & Miller were briefly partners in 1913-1914; the partnership of Miller & Craig extended from 1924 to 1935. This unrealized project can be dated to 1925-1926 as W. Clyde Davis purchased land at the southeast corner of 20th & E Streets in 1925, then sold it in 1926 to First-Plymouth Congregational Church, which built on the block a few years later.[74]

t. On January 20, 1892, Nebraska State Journal reported that a design for the Nebraska State Building at the Columbian Exposition (Chicago) had been selected from among a half-dozen entries, including one by Edward E. Gillespie of Lincoln. Lincoln Evening News reported the next day that "Architect Fiske has made a drawing of a proposed building for Nebraska at the World's fair. The drawing shows the building to be a handsome structure, two stories in heighth [sic], 60x160 feet. There is a center tower, on top of which rests a globe with a map of Nebraska, occupying a goodly portion of it. Standing on the globe is a figure of Horace Greeley, unfurling to the breeze a scroll, bearing the inscription, "Go West, Young Man."...The building will be a frame one, covered with staff, which will give it the appearance of being stone." The article mentions that the estimated cost of Fiske's design as $25,000, noting "The Fair commissioners have already adopted plans of a building to cost about $15,000..."[87]

The next month the proposal described as Fiske's received additional coverage and prompted controversy. Nebraska State Journal published a rendering of Fiske's signed design on February 14, complete with a large bulbous sphere atop the tower, surmounted with a figure of Greeley pointing westward. The accompanying text notes that the design was "hardly considered" by the selection committee as the estimated cost exceeded the available funds, and adding that "The location of Horace Greeley on the dome is not considered by good critics to be in the best of taste," but that Fiske "contemplated modifying" that detail if the design had been selected.[98] A few days later another Lincoln newspaper published a claim by "Mr. Ed. E. Gillespie" that he was "the originator" of the design credited to Fiske and that "Mr. G. seems inclined to go after the architect."[99] Another paper echoed that "Ed Gillespie, one of the brightest and best of the big army of bright and good boys who are the pride and hope of this city, is the author of the superb design for a Nebraska building at the world's fair which was printed in the Journal a few days ago and credited to Architect Fiske."[100]

(EFZ: No link between Gillespie and Fiske has been found, outside of this dispute. Edward E. Gillespie was the son of attorney John Gillespie, the original Auditor of the State of Nebraska in 1867. Edward was listed in the 1891 Lincoln city directory as a clerk at the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad freight depot, later he was a bailiff in a Lincoln court. Thanks to Matt Hansen for locating the rendering and uncovering the Fiske v. Gillespie dispute.)

u. Edwin Steckley married F. C. Fiske's daughter Helen in 1912. She died a year later.[89]

v. A notice in Nebraska State Journal on March 11, 1888 called for "Sealed Bids...for the erection of a two story brick building in the town of St. Paul, Neb." Plans were available at the office of "J. C. Fiske, No. 19 and 20, Sheldon Block, Lincoln," which was the office address of Ferdinand C. Fiske.[90]

w. Nebraska State Journal of June 7, 1901 reported that "F. C. Fiske of Dilman [sic] & Fiske, architects of Cedar Rapids, Ia., has decided to return to Lincoln to open an office. He will be here in a short time to carry out this intention. Mr. Fiske and his family are well known in Lincoln. They removed from here to St. Louis about seven years ago." That "short time" was brief indeed, as the Lincoln newspaper reported in August 1901 that F. C.'s brother Aias W. Fiske of Eau Claire, Wisconsin was visiting him in Lincoln, and later that month that "F. C. Fiske has gone to Clear Lake, Ia., for a short vacation."[93]

x. The rendering for the J. R. Kinder house matches the house at 1144 Crestdale Road, one of the first houses constructed in the Piedmont Addition. No building permit for the house has been found. F. Wilbur Griffin was listed in the 1924 Lincoln city directory as an instructor at Union College, and in 1925 as a draftsman with Fiske, Meginnis & Schaumberg. In 1927 Griffin was listed as "associater [sic] F. C. Fiske." Griffin's wife was variously listed as Elizabeth or Bessie E. The Griffins are not seen in Lincoln directories before 1924 or after 1927. The Herald-Press of St. Joseph, Michigan mentions "Professor F. Wilbur Griffin" as an instructor in architectural drawing and woodworking in the 1930-31 school year at Emmanuel Missionary College. In 1932 Professor and Mrs. Griffin are mentioned as departing Emmanuel College for Ames, Iowa, where he would attend the University.[94]

y. Nebraska State Journal published a perspective and five floor plans for the proposed Lincoln YMCA building in March 1889, encouraging $20,000 of further subscriptions towards the estimated $60,000 cost of the building. Each plan noted "Ferdinand C. Fiske, Archt."[95]

z. As a property in the town of College View prior to its annexation by Lincoln in 1931, the Swift Lumber Company office appears to have no City of Lincoln building permit. However, a 1929 advertisement illustrates the company's one-story office, topped with a large "Electrol" oil burner sign, captioned "Ferd Fiske, Architect" and "New Home of the Electrol Oil Burner." Swift was advertising Electrol-brand burners as early as 1926, so it seems more likely that the office was a new building than that the oil burner was a new product in a pre-existing building.[103]


1. Pen and Sunlight Sketches of Lincoln (Chicago: Phoenix Publishing Co., 1893), 95.

2. "Unexcelled Office Facilities: An Elegantly Appointed Building in a Good Location," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (December 18, 1892), 23; with illustration of Brownell Block inscribed "F. C. Fiske, Architect." Reprinted in Lincoln City Directory, 1893; again in 1894, 5.

3. Nebraska State Journal (January 16, 1927), 11G.

4. City of Lincoln Building Permits No. 4980 (house) and 4981 (garage), issued April 14, 1913. Estimated cost of house, $10,000; garage, $1,000.

5. Archives, Cornell University Libraries: register of his studies; courses available, 1879-80. (Architect's file)

6. "Sanitarium for the Lincoln Sulpho-Saline Bath Co. Lincoln, Neb. F. C. Fiske Architect," Omaha Excelsior (September 24, 1892), 1 (Article, rendering and floor plans).

7. “Fiske Rites To Be Wednesday,” Lincoln Star (January 27, 1930), 1, 4; and obituary, 4:3.

8. UNL website "Tour City Campus...Library (Old)" See //historicbuildings.unl.edu/building.php?b=12 Accessed February 2, 2017.

9. “F. C. Fiske, Architect; Some of our 1890 buildings,” Daily Nebraska State Journal (April 13, 1891), 4:6.

10. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property with the Mount Emerald and Capitol Additions Historic District. SEE National Register narrative

11. Thomas Lee Kaspar, comp. Inventory of architectural records in the archives of Davis Fenton Stange Darling, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska. 1996. Nebraska State Historical Society, RG3748, Box 16.

12. “F.C. Fiske, Architect, Rooms 132, 133, 134 Burr Block,” Lincoln Daily Call (January 1, 1893), 8:4-5. Thompson House also illustrated in Lincoln Daily Call (April 30, 1893), 13:1-2.

13. Lincoln Daily Call (April 4, 1893) 16:3-4.

14. Kay Logan-Peters, Preservation Association of Lincoln, Brownbag Lecture Series, Museum of Nebraska History (June 12, 2001).

15. Historic & Architectural Survey of Lincoln, Nebraska (1976), 37.

16. City of Lincoln, Building Permit #4175, issued July 3, 1911, estimated cost $2,500.

17. City of Lincoln, Building Permit #4130, issued May 19, 1911, estimated cost $7,500.

18. City of Lincoln, Building Permit #4080, issued April 20, 1911, estimated cost $4,000.

19. City of Lincoln, Building Permit #4034.

20. “No. 84 Brick & Stucco House Fiske & Meginnis,” Sunday State Journal (April 25, 1915).

21. “No. 90 Brick & Stucco House Fiske & Meginnis,” Sunday State Journal (July 4, 1915).

22. “No. 96 H.E. Sidles Residence Ferd C. Fiske,” illustrated with photo and floor plans, Sunday State Journal (May 2, 1915).

23. Notice of dissolution of Fiske & Miller partnership, Lincoln Daily News (September 7, 1914), 15.

24. Sara Mullin Baldwin, ed., Who's Who in Lincoln (Lincoln, Nebraska: Robert M. Baldwin, 1928), 157.

25. City of Lincoln Building Permit 3817, issued July 8, 1910, estimated cost of construction: $4,000. Architect listed on application as "Fisk."

26. City of Lincoln Building Permit 3877, issued September 9, 1910, estimated cost of construction: $30,000. Architect listed on application as "F. C. Fiske."

27. “Funeral Tribute is Paid F.C. Fiske as Lover of Beautiful,” Lincoln Star (January 30, 1930), 3.

28. Saint Paul Globe (June 15, 1886), 3.

29. Minneapolis City Directory, 1884-1890.

30. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=KcQ744&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&db=1880usfedcen&gss=angs-d&new=1&rank=1&msT=1&gsfn=George%20M&gsfn_x=0&gsln=Goodwin&gsln_x=0&msypn__ftp=Minneapolis,%20Hennepin,%20Minnesota,%20USA&msypn=46194&msypn_PInfo=8-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C26%7C0%7C1345%7C46194%7C0%7C0%7C&msbdy_x=1&msbdp=2&MSAV=0&msbdy=1846&cp=0&catbucket=rstp&pcat=35&fh=0&h=24127028&recoff=&ml_rpos=1 Accessed January 15, 2017.

31. "Find A Grave" website, s. v George M. Goodwin (or Rose Pattee Goodwin). http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=48358653&ref=acom Accessed January 15, 2017.

32. Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011; and Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

33. Inland Architect (December 1886), VIII:8, 84.

34. "F. C. Fiske, Architect, Rooms 132, 133, 134 Burr Block" in Lincoln Daily Call (January 1, 1893), 8:4-5.

35. Improvement Bulletin (February 5, 1897), XVII:9, 7.

36. "Deiman & Fisk.[sic]" in Cedar Rapids Republican (March 24, 1901), 20.

37. (Minneapolis) Star Tribune (January 1, 1888), 26.

38. (Minneapolis) Star Tribune (September 28, 1887), 2.

39. Nebraska State Journal (February 24, 1895).

40. Improvement Bulletin (January 22, 1898), XVII:8, 8.

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

42. Nebraska State Journal (February 9, 1894), (February 10, 1894); report on public meeting complete with perspective drawing and two floor plans.

43. Carl Yost, comp. "Abstracts from the Lincoln Board of Education minutes," TS, ca. 1930, pp. 6-63. Lincoln Public Schools Archives.

44. Lincoln Daily News (May 17, 1895), 1, Fiske files petition in Federal court for $2,810.20 in unpaid fees, from Lincoln school district.

45. "School District Loses" in Nebraska State Journal (December 8, 1900), 5.

46. Saint Louis Post-Dispatch (March 31, 1895), 13. Want ad by Fiske seeking house to rent.

47. Saint Louis Post-Dispatch (April 26, 1896), 20.

48. Lincoln Daily Call (January 1, 1893).

49. City of Lincoln, Building Permit #3910, issued October 18, 1910, estimated cost $5,000. Architect on application: "Fiske."

50. "Accepted plan for the rebuilding of Grace M. E. church, at twenty-seventh and R streets," Nebraska State Journal (June 24, 1910), 6.

51. Ed Zimmer, Historic Haymarket, Lincoln Haymarket Development Corp., 2014, 40-41.

52. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places within the Greek Row Historic District. SEE National Register narrative

53. "Notice to Contractors," Lincoln Daily News (June 30, 1892), 1.

54. City of Lincoln, Building Permit No. 4822, issued November 11, 1912, estimated cost $80,000.

55. "New home of the Lincoln Telephone Company now nearing completion at Fourteenth and M Streets," Nebraska State Journal (Sunday, January 5, 1913), 9:1-5. Rendering.

56. City of Lincoln Building Permit #4137, issued May 23, 1911, estimated cost $3,000. Architect: F. C. Fiske; owner: F. C. Fiske.

57. "Notice Contractors," Lincoln Daily News (April 26, 1892), 6.

58. "In Its New Home. The Reformed Hebrew Congregation. A New Temple Dedicated. The Handsome Synagogue of the B'nai Ieshuren [sic] the Scene of Impressive Ceremonies Conducted by Two Visiting Rabbis Last Evening," Lincoln Daily News (September 9, 1893), 1.

59. "New Firm" (announcement of partnership of Fiske & Meginnis), Lincoln Daily News(January 4, 1915), 2.

60. City of Lincoln Building Permit #4518, issued May 14, 1912, estimated cost $5,000.

61. "Steckley Bungalow," in The Near South Walking Tours, Volume 1: Franklin Heights and Environs (Lincoln: Near South Neighborhood Association, 1989), 19-20.

62. City of Lincoln Building Permit #3884, issued September 21, 1910, estimated cost $8,000. Architect listed on application as "Fisk."

63. Photo and floor plans for 2105 B published as "Residence Fiske & Meginnis Arch'ts," (Lincoln, Nebraska) Sunday State Journal (August 15, 1915).

64. City of Lincoln Building Permits #4542 ("foundation and basement"), issued May 22, 1912, estimated cost $2,000; and #4806 ("brick res."), issued November 1, 1912, estimated cost $10,000.

65. City of Lincoln Building Permit #4156, issued June 10, 1911, estimated cost $5,000.

66. City of Lincoln Building Permit #4181, issued July 6, 1911, estimated cost $6,000.

67. City of Lincoln Building Permit #4254, issued August 28, 1911, estimated cost $5,500.

68. City of Lincoln Building Permit #4310, issued October 13, 1911, estimated cost $7,000.

69. Mention of construction progress on Lincoln Sanitarium, (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (March 7, 1893), 6.

70. City of Lincoln Building Permit 4587, issued June 14, 1912, estimated cost $25,000; with associated application and drawings.

71. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places within the Lincoln Haymarket Historic District. See National Register narrative and National Register photos.

72. City of Lincoln Building Permit 14124, issued July 7, 1925, estimated cost of construction $3,000.

73. City of Lincoln Building Permit 4672, issued August 1, 1912, estimated cost of construction $45,000.

74. Blueprints at Lincoln Planning Dept. inscribed "Apartment House for Dr. W. Clyde Davis, 20th & E Streets, Lincoln, Nebraska" and "F. C. Fiske,--Miller & Craig Associated Architects Lincoln Nebraska."

75. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places within the Boulevards Historic District. See National Register narrative.

76. City of Lincoln Building Permit 15634, issued July 16, 1926, estimated cost of construction $12,000.

77. City of Lincoln Building Permit 17352, issued March 8, 1928, estimated cost of construction $20,000.

78. City of Lincoln Building Permit 17473, issued April 10, 1928, estimated cost of construction $9,000.

79. City of Lincoln Building Permit 14805, issued November 20, 1925, estimated cost of construction $25,000.

80. "Representative Business Firms....Deiman [sic] & Fiske," Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Republican (March 24, 1901), Cedar Rapids Industrial Edition: 12.

81. E. F. Zimmer, "Application for Landmark Designation: Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church," 14-21. Lincoln City Clerk records on-line: https://www.lincoln.ne.gov/aspx/city/clerk/docman.aspx?RecNum=72362 Accessed December 3, 2017.

82. Carl Yost, comp. "Abstracts from the Lincoln Board of Education minutes," TS, ca. 1930, pp. 62, 95. Lincoln Public Schools Archives.

83. "The New Synagogue," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (July 30, 1893), 4.

84. "A New Church. Corner Stone of the Universalist Church put in place," (Lincoln, Nebraska) Evening News (May 16, 1892), 1.

85. "Local Piety and Charity...Progress of Churches Now Building," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (March 19, 1893), 12.

86. "A Period of Prosperity...Some of the Reasons for Our Present Crowded Condition--What the Builders and Architects are Doing," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (October 9, 1892), 14.

87. "The Nebraska State Building. Plans for a $15,000 Structure to Be Erected on the World's Fair Grounds," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (January 20, 1892), 7; "A Handsome World's Fair Building," Lincoln (Nebraska) Evening News (January 21, 1892), 1.

88. "New Cradle of Methodism. The Trinity Methodist Church Dedicated Free From Debt," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (July 3, 1893), 8.

89. "Miss Fiske's Engagement Announced," Lincoln (Nebraska) Star (April 12, 1912), 3; "Weddings in Lincoln" (with portraits of bride and groom), (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (June 13, 1912), 9; "Throat Swelled Till Respiration Became an Impossibility," Lincoln (Nebraska) Daily News (April 24, 1913), 12.

90. "Notice to Contractors--Sealed Bids," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (March 11, 1888), 7.

91. "Architects and Builders. What They Are to Do This Season...Fine Residences Under Way...A Comfortable Residence," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (March 8, 1891), 11.

92. Lancaster County Deeds 55:494 (McMillan to Burr, $8,000, 1892) and 120:127 (Burr to Bills, $17,000, 1904).

93. (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (June 7, 1901), 8; (August 21, 1901), 6; (August 25, 1901), 6.

94. Photograph of rendering for "A House for Mr. & Mrs. J. R. Kinder, Lincoln, Nebraska. Ferd. C. Fiske Architect F. Wilbur Griffin, Associate. 4-6-27." On file at Lincoln/Lancaster County Planning Dept.

95. "For the Young Men--The New Association Building--Twenty Thousand Dollars Needed to Secure the Success of the Undertaking. The Plans and Exterior Appearance of the Proposed Structure--The Duty of the People of Lincoln--Something About Association Buildings Elsewhere," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (March 29, 1889), 3.

96. "Another beautiful residence is to be built adjoining capitol square," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (May 12, 1894), 6.

97. "Condemned as Unsafe. The High School Building Deserted.--Architects Selected to See That It is Put Into Condition for Service as Quickly as Possible," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (September 25, 1891), 8; "The High School Building.--Roberts & Fiske Declare That the Structure is Unsafe," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (September 26, 1891), 5.

98. "A World's Fair Building. One of the Designs Submitted in the Recent Contest," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (February 14, 1892) 15 (illustrated with rendering).

99. "Who Drew It," Lincoln (Nebraska) Daily Sun (February 18, 1892), 1.

100. "Ed Gillespie, one of the brightest and best...," Lincoln (Nebraska) Herald (February 20, 1892), 8.

101. "They Are Beauties. New Cars for the Lincoln Street Railway," (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (June 5, 1891), 2. Illustrated in Lincoln, Nebraska's Capital City, 1867-1923 (Lincoln, Nebraska: Woodruff Printing Company, 1923), "Lincoln Traction Co.," 44.

102. "Brevities...The finishing work on the red sandstone front of the Latta building is being put in place today. In rude massiveness this front will surpass anything of the kind yet built in Lincoln." Lincoln (Nebraska) Evening Call (December 5, 1888), 4.

103. Advertisement for Swift Lumber & Fuel Co., with Macdonald photograph of office captioned "Ferd Fiske, Architect" and "New Home of the Electrol Oil Burner," Lincoln (Nebraska) Star (August 25,1929), 56.

Page Citation

E. F. Zimmer and D. Murphy, “Ferdinand Comstock Fiske (1856-1930), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, November 27, 2022. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, December 4, 2022.

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