Jacob M. (James) Nachtigall (1874-1947), Architect
Thomas Rogers Kimball (1862-1934), Architect, working on the Trans-Mississippi & International Exposition in Omaha, and with Kimball's firm during the early stages of work on St. Cecilia's Cathedral. He also appears to have been prominently influenced by familiarity or collaboration with two Franciscan architects associated with his home parish, St. Joseph's in Omaha, particularly with Br. Leonard (Lawrence) Darscheidt, O. F. M. (1858-1944), Carpenter-Architect. Nachtigall is prominently known for his churches and religious architecture, having earned the title, "Catholic Architect," though perhaps he more properly should be called the "German Catholic Architect."[15:537][15:547][15:549] In this capacity he is prominently associated with the Rundbogenstil, or German round arch style, an influence likely reinforced by his close work with Darscheidt, who was also prominently associated with that style. Nachtigall passed away in 1947.[b]
DBA: J. M. Nachtigal
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 details on the compilation and organization of the entries.
Compiled Directory Listings
Omaha, Nebraska, 1909-18, 1920-21, 1923, 1925-26, 1928-29, 1931-40, 1940-45
1898-1899: draftsman, Trans-Mississippi & International Exposition (Walker & Kimball, Architects)
1900-1909: draftsman, Thomas Rogers Kimball (1862-1934), Architect, Omaha.
1909-1945: principal, J. M. Nachtigall, Architect, Omaha.
1914-1916: associated with Br. Leonard (Lawrence) Darscheidt, O. F. M. (1858-1944), Carpenter-Architect, St. Joseph Parish Church.[a]
1933-1935: president, AIA Nebraska.
Buildings & Projects
Catholic School (1908), 206 Ash, Snyder, Nebraska. (DD11-006)
Driscoll Leather Company (1910), 714 S. 15th Street, Omaha, Nebraska. (DO09:0121-078)
Church (1911), 1470 S. 13th St., Omaha, Nebraska. (DO09:0115-089)
Residence for Joseph Wayman (1911), Omaha, Nebraska.
St. Leonard's Rectory (1911-1912), Madison, Nebraska. (MD03-023)
Leo A. Hoffman Mortuary (1912), 102 S 24th St, Omaha, Nebraska.[6:55] (DO09:0209-005)
St. Leonard's Catholic Church (1912-1913), 502 S Nebraska St, Madison, Nebraska.[f] (MD03-023)
Building (1913), 1711 Cuming St., Omaha, Nebraska. (DO09:0130-041)
Cesky Kostel Nanebejzeti Panny Marie, aka St Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church (1914-15), Dwight, Nebraska. (BU06-001.01) National Register narrative
St. Anthony’s Catholic School (1914), rural West Point, Nebraska. (CM00-003)
Architectural consultant for St. Josephs Parish Church (1914-1916), 1730 S 16th, Omaha, Nebraska, on behalf of principal architect, Br. Leonard (Lawrence) Darscheidt.[a] (DO09:0116-003)See the National Register narrative.
Building for H. Rohlff/Twin Cities Welding & Parts, aka Rohlff Theater (1915), 2559 Leavenworth, Omaha, Nebraska.[6:141] (DO09:0205-013)
St. Marys Parochial School (1916-1917), Presentation B.V.M. Catholic Church Complex, Luxemburg, Nebraska.[15:328] (BU00-037)
St. Ann's Catholic Church (1917), 2247 Poppleton, Omaha, Nebraska.
Assumption Catholic Church (1919-1922), rural Juniata, Nebraska. Destroyed by fire, October 19, 1945
St. John’s Catholic Church Rectory (1920-1923), 2500 California St, Omaha, Nebraska. (DO09:0213-001)
St. John’s Catholic Church, apse and transepts additions (1920-1927), 2500 California St, Omaha, Nebraska. (DO09:0213-001)
St. Michael's Catholic Church Convent (1926-27), Spalding, Nebraska. (GY06-001)
Father Flanagan's House (1926-27), Boys Town, Nebraska. (DO02-001)/(DO09:1218-001)
St. Benedict the Moor School (1928), 2417 Grant, Omaha, Nebraska.
Maternity Ward Addition (4th floor west), St. Mary's Hospital (1930-1931), Columbus, Nebraska.[15:284] (PT01-167)
South Side Terrace Homes, Omaha Housing Authority, Omaha, Nebraska.
Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Omaha, Nebraska.
St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Sidney, Nebraska.[?]
St. Joseph’s Memorial Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska.
Holy Angels Catholic Church (n.d.), Omaha, Nebraska.
a. Nachtigall’s collaboration with Darscheidt on the St. Joseph's Church is from City of Omaha, Building Permit, cited in Bjorkman, 1986. Hagedorn states, “After deliberation Fr. Pacific concluded first to finish the church. November 30, 1913, Brother Loenard Darscheidt, O. F. M., arrived from Hermann, Missouri, to make the preliminary arrangements and left again in December. In March, 1915, Brother Leonard returned with the plans, and after consultation with Mr. Jacob M. Nachtigall, a prominent architect and parishioner, modified and completed them. The plans and specifications were submitted to six contractors on April 17, 1915.”[15:537]
b. “James” is used by the architect in his application for AIA membership.
c. Nachtigall takes credit for Duchesne Academy in several sources, but it is presently unclear about which part of the complex he designed. The original building dates to about 1883, before Nachtigall is known to have been in practice. Subsequent additions were made to the south in 1887, a new chapel by Thomas R. Kimball in 1909-1910, an addition to the northwest corner of the original building in 1920, and a new south wing in 1931. Though the specific role cannot yet be determined, provisional credit is given to Nachtigall for the Chapel, here, as he was working for Kimball at the commencement of that project; the building appears in both the Kimball and Nachtigall listings.
d. The chapel and the hospital addition were all one construction. The addition included four floors of hospital rooms, porches, support spaces, with the chapel attached to the south wall of the hospital wing. Only the chapel is still extant; its north entrance facade is of new construction, as its original north wall was part of the south wall of the hospital wing.
e. Hagedorn [15:549] states that it was a combined school and convent.
f. Nachtigall's building was constructed atop the "basement church" designed and built by Br. Leonard (Lawrence) Darscheidt, O. F. M. (1858-1944), Carpenter-Architect in 1902-1903. See Hagedorn [15:386] and note d on Darscheidt's page.
g. Church records do not specify the architect for the original 1905 construction, but do record Nachtigall for the 1914 addition of the crossing, transcepts, and apse, as well as the school building.
h. See the Nebraska Memories website for a lantern slide of a circa 1900 orphanage building in the Omaha Public Library collection. This may not be Nachtigall's, but it is in the Germanic Round Arch style.
i. The Nazareth Hall project included two new dormitories, one on each side of the Hall, and designed in the same style. The buildings were slated for completion early in 1932. The general contractor was A. H. Brodkey & Company.
1. "Housing in Omaha, Nebraska, 1939-40: So. Side Terrace & Logan Fontanelle Homes Add'n," Omaha Housing Authority Annual Report, 1939-40. Filed Nebraska State Historical Society Collections Department.
2. Obituary, Omaha World-Herald (June 1, 1947): 23A:5.
3. The True Voice (October 29, 1926): 3; cornerstone; The True Voice (July 29, 1927): 1 (dedication).
4. The True Voice (May 18, 1928): 3 (dedication).
5. Minden Courier (May 10, 1983).
6. Landmarks, Inc., An Inventory of Historic Omaha Buildings. Omaha: Landmarks Heritage Presrvation Commission, 1980.
7. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
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. http://communities.aia.org/sites/hdoaa/wiki/Wiki%20Pages/ahd1032044.aspx Accessed June 1, 2010
10. Esser, Sarah, with Melissa Dirr. “Immaculate Conception Church and School,” National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. Omaha: Omaha City Planning Department, December, 1997.
11. Bjorkman, Lynn. "St Joseph Parish Church Complex (DO09:0116-003)," National Register of Historic Places, Inventory-Nomination Form. Omaha: Omaha City Planning Department, April, 1986.
12. Cummins, H. J. "Duchesne Academy: French Nuns Opened Girls' School," Omaha World-Herald, Metro Extra (September 25, 1985).
13. City of Lincoln, Building permit #9294, August 21, 1920 (courtesy, Edward F. Zimmer).
14. St. Ann's New Church and Rectory: A Day of Dedication, December 15, 1957, 4-5.
15. Eugene Hagedorn, O. F. M. The Franciscans in Nebraska. Humphrey, Nebraska: Humphrey Democrat and Norfolk Daily News, 1931.
16. “St. John’s Parish,” Creighton University website, accessed August 15, 2013, http://www.creighton.edu/ministry/stjohns/ourbuilding/history/index.php
17. The Oculus: Bimonthly Newsletter of AIA Nebraska 2001:4 (July-August 2001): . Accessed March 20, 2016. http://www.aiane.org/downloads/ne-architect/2001/01July_Aug.pdf
18. Jacob Maag, "Mallet and Chisel: A fifty Year Saga of Architectural Sculpture," (The "I Remember" Series, Interview No. 9) TS. (Omaha, Nebr.: The Greater Omaha Historical Society, September 14 and September 16, 1962).
19. "Bishop to Dedicate New Nursery Sunday," The World-Herald (August 6, 1927): 8.
20. "Contracts for 3 New Buildings are Signed," and "New Nazareth Hall to Look Like This," Evening World-Herald (June 5, 1931): 4.
21. "Omaha, Nebraska," American Contractor 32:21 (May 27, 1911): 63.
22. "Begin New School," Omaha World-Herald (October 4, 1928): 8.
Return to Top of Page
D. Murphy, “Jacob M. (James) Nachtigall (1874-1947), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, May 3, 2017. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, December 9, 2018.
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