Woods & Cordner, Architects

From E Nebraska History
Jump to: navigation, search
A. W. Woods, 1905
Lincoln, Nebraska, 1906-1912


Alfred Wilderman Woods (1857-1942), Architect, Lincoln, Nebraska

John G. Cordner (1857-1939), Architect, Lincoln, Nebraska

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

Lincoln, Nebraska, 1907-1912

Buildings & Projects

Star Van & Storage Building (1906-1907), 818 Q Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[2][25][a]

Gillen & Boney Candy Co. Building Addition (1906), 201 N 8th, Lincoln, Nebraska (LC13:C09-086)

Glenwood Carnegie Library (1906-07), 109 N Vine, Glenwood, Iowa.[7][29][37][i]

Methodist Church (1907), 320 Cedar St, Julesburg, Colorado.[3]

Alva Townsend House (1907-1908), 1737 B Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[4][26][g]

"A Convenient Eight-Room House" (1907), Lincoln, Nebraska.[39][k]

First Methodist Episcopal Church (1907-1912), University Place (now 2727 N. 50th Street, Lincoln), Nebraska.[22][50][55][60][s]

Havelock Christian Church (1907-1908), Havelock (now N. 61st Street and Morrill Avenue, Lincoln), Nebraska.[51][52]

Arapahoe Christian Church (1907-1908), 9th & Locust, Arapahoe, Nebraska.[11][53]

Methodist Episcopal Church (1907), Western, Nebraska.[54]

Yule House (1908), 145 N. 33rd Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[5][27][h]

Brick block for J. T. Hay (1908), 142 North 14th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[6]

Farm house (1908), near Sterling, Nebraska.[28]

Methodist Church (1908), Aurora, Nebraska.[49][59][t]

Church of Christ (1908), Bethany, Nebraska.[48][49][r]

A. W. Woods House (1909), 2255 S 14th St, Lincoln, Nebraska.[44][n]

J. W. Menlove House (1909), 605 S 10th St, Lincoln, Nebraska.[40][l]

Ganter Building (1909), 1146 O and 113-121 N 12 St, Lincoln, Nebraska.[8][58][o]

Methodist Episcopal Church (1909), Chester, Nebraska.[56]

Congregational Church (1909) Crete, Nebraska.[57]

Watson House (1909), 1901 B Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[9]

Brenke House (1909), 1250 S. 21st Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[10]

A. W. Woods advertisement in American Builder (February 1917)

Presbyterian Church (1909-1910), 109 N Colorado Avenue, Minden, Nebraska.[41][42]

Remodel business building for H. J. Hall (1910), 1524-1528 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[12]

Dailey Apartments (1910-1911), 1433 M Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[13][62][p]

Moore Building (1910), 1421 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[14]

St. Luke's Methodist Church (1910), 620 D Street, David City, Nebraska.[23][63][b]

Christian Church (1910), Auburn, Nebraska.[23][c]

First Christian Church (1910), 1322 Stone Street, Falls City, Nebraska.[23][d]

A. W. Richardson House (1910), 3045 Van Dorn, Lincoln, Nebraska.[23][24][e]

Chris. Plumer House (1910), Glenwood, Iowa.[23][f]

Bakery Addition (1910), 227-235 N 11th St, Lincoln, Nebraska.[45][q]

Geistlinger Bakery (1911), 1644 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[19]

Business Block for Byer and Sandlovich (1911), 1535-1537 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[16]

Finney Building (1911), 1329 N Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[15][38][46][j]

Heaton House (1911), 926 S. 11th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[17]

Chapin Building (1911), 1401 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[18]

Dr. & Mrs. Grimes House (1911), 1406 C Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[20]

Remodel brick barn for F. Rawlings (1912), 1639-1641 O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[21]

Tifereth Israel Synagogue (1912-1913), 344 S 18th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[30][35][36][47] (LC13:D08-264)

Postcard of New Emmanuel Methodist Church, c. 1912

Emmanuel Methodist Church (1912), 645 N 15th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[30][31][32]

Tabernacle Christian Church (1912), 1701-1715 South Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.[30][33]

College View Union Church (1912), 223 W 11th Street, College View (after annexation, 4619 Prescott, Lincoln), Nebraska.[30][34]

First Congregational Church (before 1913), York, Nebraska.[42][43][m] (YK11-144)


a. The earliest known project of the Woods & Cordner partnership, this two-story moving and storage company warehouse is highlighted in the (Lincoln)Sunday State Journal as "...a reinforced concrete warehouse, the first large building of this kind in the city....Reinforced concrete was first used as a building material in Lincoln during the year [1906]..." and "promises to in a great measure solve the building material problem, especially in this section of the country which is remote from the steel mills and the timber forests."[25]

b. American Contractor described this project as: "Church: 56x82. $30,000. David City, Nebr. Architects Woods & Cordner, 109 S. 10th st., Lincoln. Owner Methodist church...Bids in; contracts soon to be let. Press brick, stone, composition roof, dome skylight, struct. iron, oak & pine finish, oak, pine, cement & tile floors, tiling, electric fixtures, lavatories, water closets."[23]

c. American Contractor described this project as: "Church: 1 sty. & bas. 62x86. $16,000. Auburn, Nebr. Architects Woods & Cordner, 109 S. 10th st., Lincoln. Owner Christian Church...Plans will be completed June 15. Press brick, stone, composition roof, galv. iron skylight, struct. iron, oak & pine finish, oak, pine, cement & tile floors, tiling, electric fixtures, lavatories, water closets."[23]

d. American Contractor described this project as: "Church: $15,000. Falls City, Nebr. Architects Woods & Cordner...Lincoln...Working on foundation. General contract let to F. M. Young, Bethany, Nebr."[23]

e. American Contractor described this project as: "Residence: 2 sty. & bas. 32x46. $8,000. 27th & Sheridan rds. Architects Woods & Cordner, 109 S. 10th st., Lincoln. Owner A. W. Richardson, 1515 S. 22nd st. Plans completed; architects are taking figures. Frame, stucco, concrete foundation, oak & pine finish, oak, pine, cement & tile floors, mantel, gas & electric fixtures, lavatories, water closet, bath tub."[23] Richardson paid $4,000 for five acres at the southwest corner of what became Van Dorn Street and Sheridan Boulevard in 1909. The City Directories listed his residence at "Sheridan Road & Van Dorn" by 1912, 3045 Sheridan Boulevard in 1917, and 3045 Van Dorn in 1920. The shifting addresses reflected the development of the area, not changes of location. In 1921 he sold the home, with the remaining portion of his 1909 land purchase, for $30,000.[24]

f. American Contractor described this project as: "Residence: 2 sty. & bas. 36x34. $7,000. Architects Woods & Cordner, 109 S. 10th st., Lincoln. Owner Chris. Plumer, Glenwood. Architects are taking figures. Frame, concrete foundation, oak & pine finish, oak, pine, cement & tile floors, tiling, mantel, electric fixtures, lavatories, water closet, bath tub."[23]

g. American Carpenter and Builder of May 1907 contains a perspective, two floor plans and a description of "A Well Arranged House...by Woods & Cordner, of Lincoln, Nebraska...being erected at that place." The building permit for Alva Townsend's house lists an estimated cost of $5,000.[4][26]

h. The Yule House is illustrated with a photograph in Sunday State Journal on January 3, 1909. Its building permit lists an estimated cost of $6,000.[5][27]

i. American Carpenter and Builder of April 1908 contains a perspective view, two floor plans, and a description of "an artistic and yet inexpensive library building, which was recently erected at Glenwood, Ia., after plans were prepared by Woods & Cordner, of Lincoln, Neb." The appropriation is listed as $7,000, "including the bookcases."[37]

j. The building permit lists the owner as Dr. E. B. Finney, who was Woods' brother-in-law. In American Carpenter and Builder of January 1912, there is a brief article on the Finney Building under construction. Illustrated with a construction photograph, the piece describes a hoist devised by the contractor William L. Campbell, powered by an old automobile. A Lincoln newspaper carried a lengthy, illustrated advertisement in December 1911 describing the building as "New Home of Folsom Bakery and Cafe," with the "Cafe, Soda Fountain and Confectionery" occupying the first floor and the bakery on the second floor with "capacity enough to supply the city." On the third floor, "Here is the finest lodge room in the city," with ten groups named as occupants, with their reserved times listed.[38][46]

k. American Carpenter and Builder of January 1908 provides a description, perspective, two floor plans and numerous detail drawings of "A Convenient Eight-Room House...from plans prepared by Woods & Cordner, for a house recently built at Lincoln, Neb." The American Foursquare house has ten columns in pairs, and a small balcony centered atop the porch roof, accessed off a dressing room. The specific Lincoln location of the project has not been identified.[39]

l. American Carpenter and Builder of May 1909 provides two plans and a perspective of a substantial American Foursquare residence that stood at the southwest corner of 10th & J Streets, where Lancaster County and City of Lincoln built a combined building in 1969. The description extols the advantages of frame construction with brick veneer cladding. The perspective shows a columned porch across the length of the east (10th St.) facade, curving around the corner for half the length of the north facade.[40]

m. First Congregational Church in York, Nebraska at 701 N Platte Street is now (2016) York Evangelical Free Church (a.k.a York E-Free Church). Old Settlers' History of York, published in 1913, notes: "The church now has one of the finest church buildings in the west, located at the corner of Platte and 7th Street."

Woods included a photograph of the large Neo-Classical revival style church in his 1915 advertisement for his services as a church architect, but presumably it was finished before 1913, hence it was likely a work of the Woods & Cordner partnership.[42][43]

n. A. W. Woods is listed as owner of this property and "self" as contractor. Woods and his family lived in the immediate vicinity of 2255 S. 14th from 1900-1912 and it is likely he built this as his family home.

o. This three-story brick commercial building at the northwest corner of 12th and O Streets in downtown Lincoln was built for an estimated $20,000 in 1909. Lincoln architects Tyler & Brandt sued Mrs. Anna Ganter for $500 for breach of contract in 1910, asserting that she had given them a contract to draft plans for this building, and then later refused to carry out the agreement.[61] In 1915 Woods was architect for the addition of two more stories, and he took an office on the top floor of the renamed "Barkley Building" in 1916.[8]

p. The building permit lists Helen I. Dailey as the owner and T. J. Kelly as the contractor for a 3-story brick building, estimated to cost $8,000. The location (west 35 feet of Lot 2, Block 91, of Lincoln's Original Plat) displays a two-story "F[lats]" building addressed as 1441 M St. in the Sanborn Map Co. atlas of Lincoln of 1928.[13] Construction did not commence immediately. The project was described at the end of 1910 as "Among the prospective building in Lincoln for the new year," noting "the plans having not at this time been entirely completed" and that "The house will be devided [sic] into small suites with private bath and kitchenette." As late as August 1911, Nebraska State Journal reported "An apartment house which has been under construction at 1441 M street since January 1 is now almost complete. The house...will contain eight separate apartments of three rooms and bath each...The building is of brick and stucco....A dwelling house on the site of the building was moved off over a year ago to make room for the new building."[62]

q. This building permit identifies A. W. Woods as owner and builder, and the accompanying application lists Woods alone as architect. A floor plan is inscribed "Plan of Remodeled Building on North 11th St. for A. W. Woods, Architect. Dec. 1st, 1910." The plan shows three adjacent business spaces, for Lincoln Steam Bakery Co., Paines Printery, and Marriner's Suitorium. The modification appears to be addition of two large ovens and an adjacent coal room attached to the bakery but behind the other two shops. The estimated cost of the project was $3,000.[45]

r. Improvement Bulletin of June 13, 1908, describes: "Bethany, Neb.--Work on the new Church of Christ has commenced. The building will be of pressed brick with Bedford stone trimmings, oak woodwork, opalescent glass, 82x110, seating capacity of 1,500 in the auditorium and 1,000 in the Sunday School room, twenty other rooms, class rooms, pastor's study, elevated choir loft with pipe organ, and cost about $30,000." A listing in the magazine on July 11, 1908, declares that Woods & Cordner were designing a $30,000 Church of Christ for Benton, Nebraska--probably an erroneous reference to Bethany. There is a rural township in Nemaha County, Nebraska named Benton but no sizable settlement of that name, likely to commission a $30,000 church. A subsequent brief entry in the magazine identifies Woods & Cordner as the architects for the Bethany Church of Christ. [47][48]

s. This church was first occupied for several years as a basement only, dedicated in 1903, as designed by A. W. Woods. The cost of that portion was reported as $16,000, with the total cost on completion estimated at that time as $40,000. Improvement Bulletin of June 1, 1907, indicates under "Lincoln, Neb." that Woods & Cordner "have plans for a church for the M. E. congregation, to cost $80,000." That very large estimate indicates this project was the First Methodist Episcopal Church in the Lincoln suburban town of University Place, a very substantial building for which the cornerstone was laid in 1908. In February of 1908, Improvement Bulletin again lists under Lincoln an $80,000 church "for the Methodist Episcopal congregation," adding that Rev. Grigsby was the pastor. Rev. L. M. Grigsby of University Place was identified as the Secretary of the Nebraska Conference of the Methodist Church in a 1909 publication. A description of April 1908 specifies "University Place, Neb.--Woods & Cordner have completed plans for the Methodist Church, 102x130, Bedford stone base, pressed brick walls. Cost, $30,000."[50][55][60]

t. Nebraska State Journal of April 10, 1909 reports "Woods & Cordner have completed plans for a new Methodist church at Aurora, and Mr. Cordner is now in Aurora looking after the work. The building when completed will cost in the neighborhood of $17,000."[59]


1. City of Lincoln Directory (1907-1912)

2. City of Lincoln Building Permit #1187, with application and drawings, September 10, 1906. Architect: "Woods & Cordner."

3. "A Modern Church Design: Perspective and floor plan of a medium priced, artistic church--Arrangement of the interior shown," American Builder & Carpenter (April 1906), 32-33.

4. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 2289, with application, March 17, 1908. Architect: "Woods & Cordner."

5. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 2512, with application, June 11, 1908. Architect: "Woods & Cordner."

6. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 2683, with application and drawing, September 26, 1908. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $5,000.

7. American Builder & Carpenter (April 1908), 72-73 with perspective and two plans.

8. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 2977, issued April 1, 1909.

9. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 3389, with application, issued September 29, 1909. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $7,500.

10. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 3452, with application, issued October 25, 1909. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $3,600.

11. “Small Brick Veneered Church: Perspective and floor plan of an attractive, inexpensive church--good features of construction and arrangement pointed out,” American Builder & Carpenter (September 1909), 706-707.

12. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 3537, with application, January 28, 1910. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $3,000.

13. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 3698, with application, April 15, 1910. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $8,000.

14. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 3730, with application, May 31, 1910. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $8,000.

15. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 4155, with application, June 10, 1911. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $35,000.

16. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 4113, with application, May 12, 1911. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $4,000.

17. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 4211, with application, July 26, 1911. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $3,200.

18. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 4213, with application and drawings, July 27, 1911. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $45,000.

19. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 4094, with application and drawings, April 28, 1911. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $6,000.

20. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 4239, with application, August 9, 1911. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost $7,000.

21. City of Lincoln Building Permit # 4374, with application, February 1, 1912. Architect: "Woods & Cordner." Cost: $2,000.

22. “Alfred Woods, Designer of Churches. World’s Authority on Steel Square,” Lincoln Star (January 14, 1923): 26.

23. American Contractor (June 11, 1910), 63.

24. Lancaster County Register of Deeds, Deeds 154:448 (1909), 154:590 (1909), 228:334 (1921).

25. Lincoln Sunday State Journal (December 30, 1906), II-5.

26. American Carpenter and Builder (May 1907), 243-244.

27. Lincoln Sunday State Journal (January 3, 1909), B-5.

28. American Carpenter and Builder (March 1908), 716-717, with perspective, two floor plans, and description.

29. "An Architectural & Historical Survey of Public Libraries of Iowa, 1870-1940." MS. (Iowa State Historical Department, Division of Historic Preservation, 1980).

30. “A. W. Woods, Architect Who Planned 100 Churches, Dies,” Lincoln Star (December 29, 1942), 1, 10.

31. City of Lincoln Building Permit #4438 with application, April 10, 1912. "Brick veneered church" for estimated $10,000.

32. Lincoln Sunday State Journal (January 7, 1912), B-8 with elevation drawing; (July 7, 1912), B-4 with perspective drawing.

33. City of Lincoln Building Permit #4598 with application, June 21, 1912. "Frame Church" for estimated $1500.

34. "The Churches...Built in Lincoln during the year 1912," Nebraska State Journal (January 5, 1913), 6.

35. "Proposed Jewish Temple, Eighteenth and L Streets," Lincoln Sunday State Journal (May 26, 1912), B-3, with perspective drawing inscribed "Woods & Cordner."

36. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, see National Register narrative.

37. "An Inexpensive Library," American Carpenter and Builder (April 1908), 72-73,

38. "How is this for a lift?" American Carpenter and Builder (January 1912), 67.

39. "A Convenient Eight-Room House," American Carpenter and Builder (January 1908), 464, 466-467.

40. "A Brick Veneer House," American Carpenter and Builder (May 1909), 186-187.

41. "Presbyterian Church," American Carpenter and Builder (April 1910), 65-66.

42. Advertisement for A. W. Woods' services as a church architect, in American Carpenter and Builder (August 1915), 150. Illustrated with a portrait of Woods and photographs of churches in Minden and York, Nebraska. Also in American Builder (February 1917), 249.

43. "Churches," in Old Settlers' History of York County, Nebraska, 1913, 57-58. Accessed on-line March 26, 2016: http://www.memoriallibrary.com/NE/York/1913/church.htm

44. City of Lincoln Building permit #2875, February 16, 1909.

45. City of Lincoln Building permit #3938, December 1, 1910.

46. "New Home of Folsom Bakery and Cafe," (Lincoln) Sunday State Journal (December 31, 1911), B-8.

47. City of Lincoln Building permit #4741, September 18, 1912. Cost: $7,000.

48. Improvement Bulletin (June 13, 1908), 24; (July 11, 1908), 29.

49. Improvement Bulletin (October 31, 1908), 23.

50. Improvement Bulletin (June 1, 1907), 22; (February 29, 1908), 20; (April 4, 1908), 29; (October 31, 1908), 23.

51. Improvement Bulletin (July 6, 1907), 23.

52. James L. McKee, E. F. Zimmer, & L. K. Jorgensen, Havelock: A photo history and walking tour, Lincoln: J. & L. Lee Co., 1993, 18-19 (illustrated).

53. Improvement Bulletin (July 20, 1907), 19. Cost: $7,000.

54. Improvement Bulletin (July 27, 1907), 19.

55. Methodist Men, (March 1909), 184. Accessed April 13, 2016: https://books.google.com/books?id=SNEQAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=Grigsby&f=false

56. Improvement Bulletin (July 3, 1909), 27.

57. Improvement Bulletin (October 2, 1909), 30.

58. "The New Ganter Building: Some Facts About New Structure at Twelfth and O Streets," (Lincoln) Sunday State Journal (April 11, 1909), B-8 (illustrated).

59. Nebraska State Journal (April 10, 1909), 6-A.

60. Nebraska State Journal (February 2, 1903), 3.

61. "Here in Lincoln," Lincoln (Nebraska) Star (January 11, 1910), 2.

62. "Apartment House," Lincoln (Nebraska) Star (December 31, 1910), 12; (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (August 6, 1911), 5. See also (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal (January 1, 1911), 10.

63. "New M. E. Church Dedicated--Handsome house of worship, costing $35,000, now church home of David City Methodists," Butler County Press (David City, Nebraska) (May 11, 1911), 1 (illustrated).

Page Citation

E. F. Zimmer and D. Murphy, “Woods & Cordner, Architects,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, December 28, 2020. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, August 8, 2022.

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.