Harry Lawrie (ca. 1858-1935), Architect

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Omaha, Nebraska, 1888-1831

Harry Lawrie was born circa 1858 in Scotland. In 1887 Lawrie had had nine years of architectural experience in Scotland and was associated with several important buildings there. Circa 1883, Lawrie immigrated to Chicago and was hired into the office of Burnham & Root. Here he worked on projects including the Art Institute and the Traders' Building. Prior to coming to Omaha, Lawrie had also worked for W. W. Clay in Chicago and was for two years (1885-1886) the president of the Chicago Architectural Sketch Club. He won the Anderson Pressed Brick Company Prize of the Chicago Architectural Sketch Club in March 1886, and he got first place in the “Clock Tower Design Prize” of the Chicago Architectural Sketch Club for “Timepiece,” 1886. On January 1, 1887, Lawrie became one half of the Mendelssohn & Lawrie partnership. This later became the firm Mendelssohn, Fisher & Lawrie. Lawrie was married to Mrs. Nellie Lawrie. He died on July 21, 1935, and was survived by their two daughters.[1][3][4][9][11]

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

Omaha, Nebraska, 1914-1931

Educational & Professional Associations

1883-1884: architect, Burnham & Root, Chicago, Illinois.

1885-1886: President of the Chicago Architectural Sketch Club.

1886: head draftsman for W.W. Clay.[4]

1887: architect and partner, Mendelssohn & Lawrie, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.

1888-1913: architect and partner, Fisher & Lawrie, Architects (600 Paxton Building), Omaha, Nebraska.[b]

1888-1893: architect and partner, Mendelssohn, Fisher & Lawrie, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.

1914-1915: architect, 627 Paxton Block, Omaha, Nebraska.

1916-1927: No Directories.

1928-1931: architect, 618 Paxton block, Omaha, Nebraska.

1932-1935: architect and partner, Lawrie & Stockham, Architects, Omaha, Nebraska.[c]

1936-1939: Not listed, Omaha, Nebraska.

1948-2000: Not listed, Omaha, Nebraska.

Buildings & Projects


B. F. Smith Warehouse (1887), 12th & Harney, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d] (DO09:123-049)

W. A. Paxton Building (1887), northeast corner 16th & Farnam, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d]

Sheeley building (1887) northeast corner 15th & Howard, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][8][14][d]

Barker Building (1887), southwest corner 15th & Farnam, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][14][d]

W. J. Connell house (1887), southwest corner St Mary's Ave & 22nd, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d]

First Congregational Society Church (1887), 19th & Davenport, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d]

First National Bank (1887), southeast corner 13th & Farnam, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][6][d]

McCord-Brady & Company Warehouse (1887), 13th & Leavenworth, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d]

Millard Hotel (1887), northeast corner 13th & Douglas, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d]

Board of Trade Building (1887), southwest corner 16th & Farnam, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d]

Moline, Milburn & Stoddard Warehouse (1887), Pacific S. of Union Station, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d]

St. Peters Catholic Church (1887), Leavenworth near Phil Sheridan Ave, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d]

Hotel Barker (1887), northeast corner 13th & Jones, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d]

Sacred Heart Convent, in Park Place (1887), Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d]

North American Bag Company Building (1887), 11th & Jackson, Omaha, Nebraska.[13][d]

Creighton Orpheum Theatre (1895-1898), 409 S. 16th, Omaha, Nebraska.[7] (DO09:0123-024) National Register narrative

House (1903), 1830 Emmet St., Omaha, Nebraska.[8] (DO09:0142-006)

Plymouth Church/ Second Baptist Church (1914), 1802 Emmet, Omaha, Nebraska.[6:118][8] (DO09:0142-003)

Highland Court Apartments (1914), 3860 Harney, Omaha, Nebraska.[6:132][7][8] (DO09:0319-005)

Skinner Manufacturing Building (1914), 1323 Jackson, Omaha, Nebraska.[6:138][7][8] (DO09:0121-028)

Fairmont Creamery Company Building (1916), 1209 Jackson, Omaha, Nebraska.[6:137][7][8] (DO09:0121-073)

Weldon house (1916), Ogallala, Nebraska. (KH04-002)

Kirschbraun & Sons, Inc., Warehouse (1917), 108 S. 9th/901 Dodge St., Omaha, Nebraska.[6:41][7][8] (DO09:0123-007)

Raur Lithograph (1917), 1319 Harney St., Omaha, Nebraska.[8] (DO09:0123-063)

Second Church of Christ Scientists (1918), 41st & Davenport, Omaha, Nebraska.[10]

Store remodel for W. A. Redick (1918), 2320-2322 Cuming, Omaha, Nebraska.[10]

Omaha Paper Building (1918), 110 N. 11th St, Omaha, Nebraska.[8] (DO09:0125-034)

Store for S. D. Mercer Company (1918), 108-112 N 11th, Omaha, Nebraska.[10]

House (1919), 5023 California St, Omaha, Nebraska.[8] (DO09:0435-028)

Duplex (1919), 501 N. 51st St./5024 Cass St., Omaha, Nebraska.[8] (DO09:0435-023)

World Theatre (1921-1922), 1506 Douglas, Omaha, Nebraska.[1][3][a] (DO09-2:22)

Architect-in-Chief (1925), Omaha grade school building program.[3]

Sacred Heart Grade School & Lyceum (1927), 2201 Binney, Omaha, Nebraska. (DO09:7-11) NRHP


Happy Hollow Club (n.d.), Omaha, Nebraska.[3]

Moon Theater (n.d.), Omaha, Nebraska.[3]

Sun Theater (n.d.), Omaha, Nebraska.[3]

Omaha Ice & Storage Company (n.d.), Omaha, Nebraska.[3]

Paxton Building (n.d.).[3]

Board of Trade (n.d.), 16th & Farnam.[3]

Phoenix Insurance Building (n.d.), Chicago, Illinois.[3]

Traders' Building (n.d.), Chicago, Illinois.[3]

W. E. Hale house (n.d.), Chicago, Illinois.[3]

A. E. Sprague house (n.d.), Chicago, Illinois.[3]

Robert Srahorn house (n.d.), Chicago, Illinois.[3]

Dundee Royal Infirmary (n.d.), Dundee, Scotland.[12]

Edinburgh New Medical College (n.d.), Edinburgh, Scotland.[12]

Royal Infirmary (n.d.), Edinburgh, Scotland.[12]

Central Hotel (n.d.), Glasgow, Scotland.[12]

Residence for Marquis of Bute (n.d.), near Glasgow, Scotland.[12]

The Ramage (n.d.), Omaha, Nebraska.[14][d]

The Great Paxton Building (n.d.), Omaha, Nebraska.[14][d]

The Knights of Pythias Temple (n.d.), Omaha, Nebraska.[14][d]

Architecture Hall (n.d.), University of Nebraska Campus, Lincoln, Nebraska.[14][e]

Honors & Awards

1886: Anderson Pressed Brick Company Prize of the Chicago Architectural Sketch Club.

1886: First Place in the “Clock Tower Design Prize” of the Chicago Architectural Sketch Club for “Timepiece.”


a. Lawrie was the local superintendent for Howard Crane.[1][3]

b. First Omaha directory listing, 1888.

c. Last Omaha directory listing, 1935.

d. Projects in 1887 were done on behalf of Mendelssohn & Lawrie.

e. Projects from 1888-1893 were done on behalf of Mendelssohn, Fisher & Lawrie.


1. “Mendelssohn & Lawrie” in The Herald (January 1, 1887).

2. Architects drawing for proposed Sacred Heart Parish Junior School and Lyceum, in Omaha World-Herald (April 17, 1927) [from WPA Index of References, subject 611].

3. “Death Takes Architect: Harry Lawrie, Long Omahan, Designed Many Buildings Here,” Omaha World-Herald (July 23, 1935), 1.

4. Henry F. Withey and Elsie R., Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (Los Angles: Hennessey & Ingalls, Inc., 1970). [see file]

5. "H. H. Richardson goes West . . .," in Paul Clifford Larson (Ed.) The Spirit of H. H. Richardson . . . (Ames, Iowa, 1988), 31 (Chicago Arch Sketch Club--one of foremost Richardsonians), 157 (Worked as draughtsman for Burnham & Root, Chicago, Illinois), 157 (Worked as draughtsman for W. W. Clay, Chicago, Illinois).

6. Landmarks, Inc., An Inventory of Historic Omaha Buildings (Omaha: Landmarks Heritage Presrvation Commission, 1980).

7. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

8. City of Omaha Planning Department, Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission, Database, Query on Architects, May 20, 2002; courtesy of Lynn Meyer, Preservation Planner

9. AIA Historical Directory of American Architects: A Resource Guide to Finding Information About Past Architects, accessed May 25, 2010, http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/Wiki%20Pages/ahd1025837.aspx

10. The American Contractor (March 23, 1918), 60, Google Books, January 12, 2012, (This is a fireproof building of brick, terracotta, and concrete; four storeys with a basement, measuring 89 by 139 feet.) http://books.google.com/books?id=UCJYAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA10-PA64&lpg=RA10-PA64&dq=f+w+clarke,+architect,+york+hotel,+nebraska&source=bl&ots=-QV--qNAlx&sig=yQZ--Gvu9ph8VGJ7unfHB-6P9QU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=whYPT97eOov9iQLF9M3fDQ&sqi=2&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=f%20w%20clarke%2C%20architect%2C%20york%20hotel%2C%20nebraska&f=false

11. Chicago Hand Book: A Complete Guide for Strangers and Tourists, Illustrated (Chicago: Halpin, Hayes and McClure, Publishers, 1869), 306, InternetArchive.org, August 2, 2012, http://archive.org/details/chicagohandbookf00chic

12. Omaha World Herald (1887).

13. “Mendelssohn & Lawrie,” Omaha Daily Bee, Annual Review (January 1, 1888).

14. Robert Peters, “Bemis Bag Company NRHP Nomination,” OCPD (August 1978).

Other Sources

Portrait in Nebraskans, 1854-1904 (Omaha: Bee Publishing Co., 1904). [978.2.B39n]

Entry in Henry F. Withey, A.I.A., and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased), 9.

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “Harry Lawrie (ca. 1858-1935), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, February 9, 2015. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, August 13, 2022.

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