Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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Praxiteles
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A note on the papers and archive of the Dielmann architectural firm conserved in the San Antonio Public Library:

The Leo M.J. Dielmann Papers
One of the library’s deepest collections of personal and professional papers has accumulated through a
fruitful four-decade relationship with two generations of a generous San Antonio family. San Antonio
architect Leo Maria Joseph Dielmann (1881-1969) made the first donation of his papers in 1964, giving the
library his family and business records, architectural drawings, books, memorabilia and photographs,
initiating a series of gifts that continues to the present.
Dielmann was a native of San Antonio, the son of German
immigrant parents John C. and Maria Gros Dielmann.
Following the completion of his education in San Antonio
schools, including a degree from St. Mary’s College, Leo
Dielmann studied architecture in Idstein, Germany, returning
to work on building designs for his father’s construction
company, and, eventually, his own architectural practice. His
designs included a wide range of structures, including
businesses, institutional facilities, residences and, most
significantly, churches. Some outstanding examples in San
Antonio include the Post Chapel at Fort Sam Houston (1909),
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (1911), Sacred
Heart Chapel at Our Lady of the Lake University (1922), and
the Post Chapel at Randolph Air Force Base (1930). Other
notable structures are St. Mary’s Catholic Church in
Fredericksburg (1906), Nativity of Mary Catholic Church in
High Hill (1906), Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Corn Hill
(1913), St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Weimar (1914), and
St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Brenham (1935). These and other buildings are documented by beautifully
rendered presentation drawings, hundreds of sets of detailed plans, and photographs of the projects during
and after construction. In addition, the papers include material related to the Dielmann family’s
involvement in church and community, particularly state and local Catholic organizations, the Order of the
Sons of Hermann fraternal organization, and Leo Dielmann’s service as a city alderman and on the board of
directors of the San Antonio Public Library.
From their arrival in the library, the Dielmann papers have been a rich source for researchers and have
provided the basis for journal articles, academic papers, and book projects. The already large body of
material was greatly enriched in 1994 with the donation of additional drawings, photos and papers by Leo
M.J. Dielmann, Jr., himself a noted architect. The library was also the beneficiary of memorial
contributions requested by the family on the passing of Leo Dielmann, Jr. in 2000. While the processing of
this vast addition is ongoing, several groups and individuals have already used the material in the restoration
of some of Dielmann’s architecturally signficant buildings.
When the first material from Leo Dielmann arrived in 1964, librarian Carmen Perry was prophetic when
she wrote in her letter of thanks “I can assure you that researchers will bless the Dielmann family for years
to come.” That this seed has grown into an even greater body of source material has increased those
blessings many fold.

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