Vladimir Sobotka (1895-1990), Architect and Builder

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Bee, Dwight, and Lincoln, Nebraska

Vladimir Sobotka was born on February 14, 1895 in Dwight, Nebraska. His mother was Josephine (Virgl) and his father was Frank Sobotka, who was born in Strevic, Moravia and came to the United States in 1879. The family moved to Bee, Nebraska in 1908. Sobotka finished school after the tenth grade for financial reasons, but he has said to have been raised with the building trade since he was only ten years old. At the age of 15 in 1910, Vladimir organized the first Bee Fire Department. He was Fire Chief from 1910 to 1940. He built the original brick portion of the Bee City Hall and Fire Hall. In 1911, half the town center of Dwight burned, and Vladimir, securing a job with Frank and Joe Maly, helped rebuild parts of it. In 1913, in lieu of an extensive college education, Sobotka bought himself a set of building and Architectural books which he used to study his craft. In 1915, he took a class in Chicago in blue-print making, planning, as well as design.[6] In 1917, he was drafted into the armed forces, and upon returning to Bee in 1919, he decided to study the trade. He began designing and building residences, storebuildings, schools, an auditorium, and a high school, by 1919 at the age of 24, and later got his architecture license in 1941.[4][6] In 1940, he moved to Seward, and again in 1943, he moved to Lincoln. He supervised construction at the Lincoln Air Base, and was later Post Engineer, until the Air Base closed in 1947. He worked in several Lincoln partnerships for the rest of his life.[3] He designed and built buildings in Bee, York, Grand Island, Columbus, and Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as Chicago, Illinois. Sobotka was married to Rose (Pernicek)[1][5][6], and had two daughters and a son. He died on January 30, 1990.[4]

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

Hastings, Nebraska, 1942

Lincoln, Nebraska, 1943-1949, 1950-1959, 1960-1961, 1963-1969, 1970-1976

Chicago, Illinois, 1962[4]

Educational & Professional Associations

1901-1908: Dwight Public Schools, Dwight Nebraska.[6]

1908-1910: Bee Public Schools, Bee, Nebraska.[4][6]

1910-1940: elected Fire Chief, Bee, Nebraska.[3][e]

1912: builder, Frank and Joe Maly, Dwight, Nebraska.[3]

1913: architecture and building, self-study.[4]

1915-1916: F.E. Dobe School of Drafting, Chicago, correspondence course.[4][6]

1916-____: architect-builder, self-employed, Bee, Nebraska.[4]

1917-1919: drafted in US Army, 355th Infantry, 3rd Bn. Intelligence (front lines scouting), served in France.[1][3]

1919-____: post-war correspondence course in mathematics and architectural work.[4]

1919-____: architect-builder, self-employed, Bee, Nebraska.[4]

1938: project Superintendent, W.P.A., Seward County, Nebraska.[4]

1941: Registered Professional Architect, Nebraska, A-127; December 2, 1941.[4]

____: architect, Schaumberg & Freeman, Architects, Lincoln, Nebraska.[4]

1943: foreman, supervising construction, Lincoln Air Base, Lincoln, Nebraska.[1][3]

ca. 1943-1947: Post engineer, Lincoln Air Base, Lincoln, Nebraska.[3]

1947-1949: architect, part-time work with Edward G. Schaumberg

1949: architect, full-time Meginnis & Schaumberg, Architects.[1][2][3]

1968-at least 1979: architect, Sobotka, Edward G. Schaumberg, and Sam Freeman all joined the firm of Hoskins, Stippich, Schaumberg & Freeman, Architects.[1][3][5]

1979: Grand Marshall, Dwight Czech Festival.[3]

Buildings & Projects


Complete farmstead (1912), five miles N.W. of Dwight, Nebraska.[3][d]

Corner Tavern in Tsina & Brim Building (1912), SE corner of town center, Dwight, Nebraska.[3] (BU06-5)

Building for Frank Engle (1912), town center, Dwight, Nebraska.[3]

Original brick portion of Bee City Hall and Fire hall (1913), Bee, Nebraska.[3] (SW01-9)

Brick bank Building (1921), Bee, Nebraska.[3]

Brick School [later used as home] (1921), along HWY 15 between Seward and Bee.[3]

Home for Cyril Hottovy (1923), 1.5 miles north of Dwight, Nebraska.[3]

Bee High School (ca. 1926-1927), NE corner 3rd & Ash, Bee, Nebraska.[4] (SW02-013)

House for Carolyn Vogeltanz (1929), Dwight, Nebraska.[3]

House for sister of Carolyn Vogeltanz (1929), Dwight, Nebraska.[3]

House on farm for sister of Carolyn Vogeltanz (1929), east of Dwight, Nebraska.[3]

Identical Brick School (above) for Floyd Edwards farm (1932), 3 miles east of Dwight, Nebraska.[3]

Added basement under Dwight Parish Hall (1937), Dwight, Nebraska.[2][3] (BU06-06)

David City Park (1939), David City, Nebraska.[1][2][3]

Two concrete sculptures for David City Auditorium (ca. 1939), David City, Nebraska.[3]

State's Ballroom (1938-1940), Bee, Nebraska.[1][2][3][7] (SW02-008)

Inspection of Grand Island football field (1947), Grand Island, Nebraska.[1][2][3]

Inspection of York College dormitory (1947), York, Nebraska.[2][3]

Dwight Fire Hall (1955), Dwight, Nebraska.[2]

East Butler Auditorium (1955), Brainard, Nebraska.[2]


Seward County Fairgrounds (n.d.), Seward, Nebraska.[3]

Falls City Auditorium (n.d.), Falls City, Nebraska.[2][3][b]

York Auditorium, York, Nebraska.[1][3][4][a]

Memorial Stadium, Grand Island, Nebraska.[4][a]

Entry Pylons, Columbus City Park, Columbus, Nebraska.[4][a]

Hastings Naval Ammunition Depot concrete batch Plant #2 (n.d.), Hastings, Nebraska.[1][3]

Hastings Naval Ammunition Depot concrete batch Plant #1 (n.d.), Hastings, Nebraska.[1][3][c]

East Butler School (n.d.), near Brainard, Nebraska.[3]

Addition and major remodel of Dwight American Legion Hall (n.d.), Dwight, Nebraska.[3]

Home for Joe Vavra (n.d.), south of Bee, Nebraska.[3]

Home for Alvin Herrold (n.d.), south of Bee, Nebraska.[3]

Home for Philip Novak (n.d.), north part of Dwight, Nebraska.[3]

Home for Elmer Blogert (n.d.), east of Staplehurst, Nebraska.[3]

Home and barn for Adolph Hottovy (n.d.), west of Dwight, Nebraska.[2]

Home for Joe Vogeltanz (n.d.), Dwight, Nebraska.[2]

Home for Jim Krenk (n.d.), Dwight, Nebraska.[2]

Farm home for John Kantor (n.d.), Dwight, Nebraska.[2]

Farm home for Larry Lueders (n.d.), south of Bee, Nebraska.[2]

Farm home for John Tesina (n.d.), north of Bee, Nebraska.[2]

Farm home for Mike Hottovy (n.d.), Nebraska.[2]

Floyd Edwards School District #55 Schoolhouse (n.d.), southeast of Dwight, Nebraska.[2]

Slavik School District #73 Schoolhouse (n.d.), southeast of Dwight, Nebraska.[2]

Leheigh School building (n.d.), south of Bee, Nebraska.[2]


a. This work was done while Sobotka was with Schaumberg & Freeman, Architects.[4]

b. He assisted supervision on this building, but it was drawn by architect Edward G. Schaumberg.[3]

c. Ed Moriska began this plant, and Sobotka finished it.[3]

d. He assisted his father in building this farmstead. They walked the five miles to and from the site every day until the house was enclosed, and then stayed in the house until they finished the barn and other outbuildings, walking home every weekend.[3]

e. Reference [2] says 1913-1940.


1. Jim Reisdorff, “Sobotka recalls designing David City Memorial Park,” David City Banner Press (April 23, 1981).

2. Alfred Novacek, “Profiles of our Native Sons: Vladimir Sabotka,” Dwight Doodles 3:3 (March 13, 1979), 1-2.

3. D. Murphy, Notes From a Conversation with Vladimir Sobotka, 1642 Sumner (July 28, 1981). In Nebraska State Historical Society file.

4. “From the Files: Vladimir Sobotka,” The Nebraska Professional (June 2002).

5. Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

6. "Registration To Practice Professional Engineering or Architecture", Nebraska State Board of Examiners for Professional Engineers & Architects, August 9, 1938. Courtesy of Charles Nelson, Executive Director, State Board.

7. Jeff Barnes, 150@150: Nebraska's Landmark Buildings at the State's Sesquicentennial (Architectural Foundation of Nebraska, 2017).

Page Citation

D. Murphy, “Vladimir Sobotka (1895-1990), Architect and Builder,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, March 11, 2015. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, June 3, 2020.

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