John Peter Helleberg, Jr. (1922-1969), Architect

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Kearney, Nebraska, 1948-1968
John P. Helleberg, Jr., 1948

John P. Helleberg, Jr. was born in Columbus, Nebraska on January 12, 1922 to John and Elena (Staal) Helleberg.[1] He received his Bachelor's in Architecture in 1941 from the University of Illinois. From 1946-1969, Helleberg was an architect and partner with his father in the firm Helleberg & Helleberg in Kearney.[1] He was married to Wilma, and they had two sons and a daughter.[1][2] Helleberg died on April 11, 1969 at the age of 47, after battling a long-term illness.[1][2]

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.

Educational & Professional Associations

1926-1938: student, Kearney public schools, Kearney, Nebraska.[4]

1936-1942: draftsman (part time), John P. Helleberg, Architect, Kearney, Nebraska.[4]

1938-1940: pre-engineering student, Kearney State College, Kearney, Nebraska.[4]

1940: architecture student (one semester), University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.[4]

1941-1948: Bachelor of Science, Architecture, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.[4][c]

1941-1942: employee, Cornhusker Ordinance Plant, Kearney, Nebraska.[6]

ca.1943-1945: WWII.[1][2][6]

1943: chief architectural draftsman, Harza Engineering, Kearney, Nebraska.[4]

1943-1946: chief draftsman, Pipeline HQ CBI, Jacksonville, Florida.[4][a]

1946-1948: architect and junior partner, Helleberg & Helleberg, Kearney, Nebraska.[4][b]

1948: Registered Professional Architect, Nebraska, September 8, 1948; A-205.[4]

1948-1969: partner, Helleberg & Helleberg, Kearney, Nebraska.[5]

Buildings & Projects

From 1946 on, Helleberg’s career continued in partnerships with his father and brother. Listed below are some of his principal works from this period. See the buildings and projects of Helleberg & Helleberg, Architects for more.

Cushing Coliseum (1962) Kearney State College, Kearney, Nebraska.[1][2][d]

Ryan Memorial Library (1963), Kearney State College, Kearney, Nebraska.[1][2][d]

Fine Arts Building (1968-1969), Kearney State College, Kearney, Nebraska.[1][2][d]


a. Unclear reference; source says: “Chief Bn draftsman 070 with Pipeling Hdqtrs CBI. Engineering and architectural drafting & design pipeline & pump station buildings.” Reported to John N. Christ of Jacksonville, Florida.[4]

b. Additional experience while attending school, 1940-1948, included with Berger and Kelly, Architects. Champaign, Illinois; the University architect, Urbana, Illinois; and Martin I. Aitken, Lincoln, Nebraska.[4]

c. Graduated with Honors.[1]

d. Attributed designer, for Helleberg & Helleberg.[1]


1. “John P. Helleberg, Jr., Dies At Age of 47; Rites Are Tuesday,” Kearney Daily Hub (April 12, 1969), 1.

2. “Helleberg Rites To Be at Kearney,” Sunday Omaha World-Herald (April 13, 1969), 18B:1.

3. AIA Historical Directory of American Architects: A Resource Guide to Finding Information About Past Architects, accessed May 11, 2010,

4. Application for Registration to Practice Professional Engineering and Architecture, Nebraska State Board of Examiners for Professional Engineers and Architects, August 13, 1948. Nebraska State Historical Society RG081 SG2.

5. “Project Listings,” TS ([Kearney, NE]: Rex S. Helleberg, Architect, [1985]). Copy in Nebraska State Historical Society, Historic Preservation Division, Architect files.

6. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “John Peter Helleberg, Jr. (1922-1969), Architect,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, March 6, 2019. Accessed, June 8, 2023.

Contact the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office with questions or comments concerning this page, including any problems you may have with broken links (see, however, the Disclaimers link at the bottom of this page). Please provide the URL to this page with your inquiry.