view all images ( of 4 shown)

Male, born 1876-01-13, died 1960-05-23

Associated with the firm network

Jekel, Henry L.A., Architect / Civil Engineer

Professional History


Worker, Jekel Family saloon, Bufflalo, NY, c. 1892. (See, Source Information New York, State Census, 1892 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: 1892 New York State Census. New York State Education Department, Office of Cultural Education. New York State Library, Albany, NY, accessed 08/08/2019.)

Principal, Henry L.A. Jekel, Architect, Buffalo, NY, 1897-c. 1899, c. 1908-1920. In 1897, Jekel had a work address of 378 Main Street in Buffalo. (See Buffalo, New York, City Directory, 1897, p. 1182.) He had an office in Room #607 of the Brisbane Building in Buffalo in 1908. (See Buffalo, New York, City Directory, 1908, p. 1382.) As per the book on Jekel by H. Vincent Moses and Catherine Whitmore, Jekel left Philadelphia c. 1905 after his company failed. They wrote: "The collapse of Jekel’s Philadelphia enterprise in 1904 and the dissolution of his fledgling skyscraper design firm, H. L. A. Jekel Company, Architects, due to his investors’ overestimation of the Philadelphia market for high-rise buildings, turned his plans in a different direction." (See Itasca, "Product Description: Henry L.A. Jekel: Architect of Eastern Skyscrapers and the California Style," published 2018, accessed 08/08/2019.) Jekel produced the design for "...a frame dwelling, 40x31.7x20, on front of lot, No. 128 Tillinghast place, north side, 140 feet west of Parkside avenue." (See Proceedings of the Common council of the City of Buffalo, from January 1, 1919, to December 31, 1919, [Buffalo: Union and Times Press, 1919], p. 1295.)

Architect, Philadelphia, PA, 1900.

Principal, H.L.A. Jekel Company, Philadelphia, PA, c. 1901-1905. In 1903, Jekel operated an office in Room #712 of the Mutual Life Building. (See Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1903, p. 88.) He moved to Room #318 of the Pennsylvania Building in 1904. (See Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1904, p. 946.)

While in Philadelphia, he worked on the Pennsylvania Building, a building heavily publicized in the architectural media.(See "In General," Brickbuilder, vol. 11, no. 5, 05/1902, p. 110 and "Philadelphia's Newest Fireproof Building," Fireproof Magazine, vol. 1, no. 6, 12/1902, p. 26.) The American Architect and Architecture wrote in its issue of 01/25/1902: "The demolition of the old Church of the Epiphany, so long a landmark, at the corner of 15th and Chestnut Sts., will begin at once, and the ground will be occupied by a seventeen-story office building at the corner, to be followed in time by a thirteen-story hotel on the adjoining ground. The Thompson-Starrett Co., of New York, has the contract for the new office-building. It will be known as the Pennsylvania Building and will be built at the northwest corner of 15th and Chestnut Sts., front 78 feet on 15th St., and extending 132 feet along the entire front of Chestnut St. The first three stores will be constructed of granite, and the upper 14 of fancy brick and terra-cotta ornamentation. Five stores facing Chestnut St. will occupy the ground floor. The upper floors are each to contain 20 rooms, fitted up in an elaborate manner. Architect H.L.A. Jekel planned the building, and the deal was negotiated by the Land Title & Trust Co." (See 'Building Intelligence," American Architect and Architecture, 01/25/1902, vol. LXXV, no. 1361, p. xii.)

Principal, Henry L.A. Jekel, Architect, Boston, MA, 1906. The Boston, Massachusetts, City Directory, 1906, (p. 971) indivated that Jekel maintained an office there at 107 Massachusetts Avenue. He stayed here briefly before obtaining a large commission in Washington, DC.

Principal, Henry L.A. Jekel, Architect, Washington, DC, c. 1906-1907. Jekel designed the Westory Chambers Office Building, a nine-story building at 1345 F Street NW (northeast corner of 14th and F Streets), for George H. Higbee. It was to replace the Dr. Ritchie Stone Mansion at this prominent intersection. "This ground sold for the highest price ever paid for real estate in the District of Columbia." (See "Millions Are Being Spent for Business Blocks," Washington Post, 02/24/1907, p. 26.) The Westory Building was described by the Washington Post: "The unique feature of the building is that it is patterned after a column, with a row of ten Ionic columns as a base, running up two stories, and with a shaft of five stores, surmounted by a cap of two stores, highly ornamental, and given the structure unity. The idea is original in this city." The articel went on to say of the architect: "Henry L.A. Jekel, the architect, is known as the designer of the largest buildings in this section of the country. His work is almost entirely of a private nature, and he has served a number of years on the staffs of both Thompson-Starratt [sic] and the George A. Fuller companies. One of his latest works is the nineteen-story Pennsylvania Building, on the northwest corner of Fifteenth and Chestnut streets, Philadelphia. He has designed other large buildings in New York, Buffalo, Boston, Philadelphia, and other Eastern cities." (See $200,000 Office Building To Be Erected at Once," Washington Post, 05/25/1906, p. 2 and "Building Permits, Washington Post, 12/27/1906, p. 14.)

Another notice in the American Architect and Building News said of the Westory Building: "It is reported that an office building 9 stories, 29x83 ft., will be erected on northeast corner 14th and F Sts. Brick with terra cotta trimmings, steel frame, fireproof, marble on interior, ornamental iron and bronze work, electric wiring, plumbing, steam heating system and elevators. Cost $200,000. Henry L.A. Jekel, Boston, Mass., architect." (See "Building News," American Architect and Building News, vol. XC, no. 1593, 07/07/1906, p. xvii.) Another note in Engineering World, 1906, p. 761, indicated that Edwin Gilbert and Compan, Philadelphia. PA, would act as general contractor for the Westory Building.

Principal, Henry Jekel, Architect/Building Contractor, Riverside, CA, 1911-1912. He worked as architect Myron Hunt's structural engineer on the tower of the 1st Congregational Church #3 in Riverside, 1911-1912. Jekel also designed a mausoleum for the California Mausoleum Company in Riverside in 1912. (See David Gebhard and Robert Winter, A Guide to Architecture in Los Angeles and Southern California, [Salt Lake City:Peregrine Smith Incorporated. 1977], p. 406.)

Principal, Henry Jekel, Architect/Civil Engineer, Riverside, CA, c. 1921-1940. The 1930 US Census listed him as being a building contractor. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Riverside, Riverside, California; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 0044; FHL microfilm: 2339919, accessed 08/12/2019.)



The US Census of 1940 indicated that Jekel had attended school until grade 8. He obtained his architectural training in offices.



Born in Buffalo, NY, Jekel's large family maintained its residence in the blue-collar 8th Ward of Buffalo, located near the city's main docks on the Erie Canal. The Jekel House had a significant value of $4,000 in 1875, and was built of brick. Their neighbors consisted of some native-born workers and other immigrants predominantly from Germany and Ireland. At age four, he lived with his family at 339 Genesee Street. This was probably in apartments above Frederick Jekel''s grocery store/saloon. (See, Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Roll: 830; Page: 431C; Enumeration District: 156, accessed 08/08/2019.)

Between c. 1890 and 1921, Jekel relocated frequently for work. He didn't marry until he was 35 years old, and did not have a family to conflict with his architectural education or work. He seems to have returned home periodically to Buffalo, probably to visit his mother and siblings. The 1905 NY State Census, for example, listed him as a resident of a house at 487 Chestnut Street, along with his mother, and siblings Julia, Charles F. and Walter. (See, Source Citation New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: E.D. 02; City: Buffalo Ward 24; County: Erie; Page: 51, accessed 08/08/2019.)

Jekel continued to reside in Buffalo through the late 1890s. Sources indicate that Jekel received architectural training in Chicago, IL, and New York, NY. He moved from Buffalo to New York, NY, in 1899, but not did stay here long.

The 1900 US Census listed him as living in Philadelphia, PA, where he worked as an architect. He lived in a rented room at 229 South 8th Street. (See, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 8, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Page: 18; Enumeration District: 0144; FHL microfilm: 1241455, accessed 08/08/2019.) He lived in the Morton Apartments, 1229 Locust Street in Philadelphia in 1905. (See Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1905, p. 1281.)

He left Philadephiia to work in Boston, MA, during early 1906. He lived and worked at 107 Massachusetts Avenue during this year. (See Boston, Massachusetts, City Directory, 1906, p. 971.)

Jekel lived in the Washington, DC, in 1906-1907, while he developed a practice designing high-rises there.

From at least 1908 until 1910, he lived at 487 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. (See Buffalo, New York, City Directory, 1908, p. 651 and Buffalo, New York, City Directory, 1910, p. 661.) At this time, Henry resided with his widowed mother, Louisa, and his brother Charles F. Jekel,, at the time the Supreme Secretary of the Order of the Iroquios, and sister, Julia A. Jekel, at this address. During 1909, he first traveled to California, becoming interested in the environment and its dynamic building scene. He would spend 1911-1912 working on Hunt and Grey's 1st Congregational Church #3 in Riverside for a brief period.

According to this World War I draft registration card of 09/12/1918, Henry Jekel resided at 354 Bryant Street, Buffalo, NY. He was a draftsman and builder at this time. (See, Source Citation Registration State: New York; Registration County: Erie; Roll: 1712287; Draft Board: 16, accessed 08/08/2019.)

Jekel moved permanently to Riverside, CA, by 06/1921. (See "Henry Jekel To Make Home Here," Riverside Daily Press, 06/16/1921, p. 5.) The US Census of 1930 indicated that Jekel and his wife had erected a residence at 5063 Magnolia Avenue, a dwelling that he and his wife owned and had an estimated value of $15,000. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Riverside, Riverside, California; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 0044; FHL microfilm: 2339919, accessed 08/12/2019.)

The US Census of 1940 recorded that Amanda and Henry Jekel lived at 5063 Magnolia Avenue in Riverside, CA, and they had lived in the same house in 1935. (See, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Riverside, Riverside, California; Roll: m-t0627-00278; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 33-50, accessed 08/08/2019.)


His father, Frederick Jekel, (born c. 1834 in Baden, Germany) worked as a grocery store and saloon owner in 1880 Buffalo. Frederick's grocery and saloon was probably located at 321-329 Genessee Street in Buffalo. (See Buffalo, New York, City Directory, 1885, p. 539.)

His mother's maiden name was Louisa Yingert (born c. 1836 in Baden, Germany), who had a family of 13 children, 8 daughters and 5 sons. Frederick and Louisa first migrated to Canada, where their two eldest daughters were born, They came to the US by 1860, where they had their third eldest daughter. (See, Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Roll: 830; Page: 431C; Enumeration District: 156, accessed 08/08/2019.)

Their children included: Elizabeth (born c. 1856 in Canada), Sophia C. (born c. 1858 in Canada), Louisa (born c. 1860 in Buffalo, NY), Caroline M. (born c. 1864 in Buffalo, NY), Amelia (born c. 1865 in NY), Emily F. (born c. 1866 in Buffalo, NY), Mary C. (born c. 1867 in Buffalo, NY), Julius Otto (born c. 1870 in Buffalo, NY), John Frederick (born c. 1872 in Buffalo, NY), Julianna (born c. 1874 in Buffalo, NY), Henry, Charles F. (born c. 1878 in Buffalo, NY), and Christian L. (born c. 1879 in Buffalo, NY). The last son, Christian, may have gone by the name "Walter," Amelia may have died early in life.


He wed Amanda M. Zacher (born 07/04/1880 Buffalo, NY-d. 08/07/1970 in Riverside, CA) on 10/11/1911 in Buffalo, NY. (See, Source Citation New York State Department of Health; Albany, NY, USA; New York State Marriage Index, accessed 08/08/2019.)

Biographical Notes

Jekel and his wife returned aboard the S.S. Antigua from Manzanillo, Mexico to Los Angeles, CA, between 06/29/1935 and 07/02/1935. (See, Source Citation The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Pedro/Wilmington/Los Angeles, California; NAI Number: 4486355; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85, accessed 08/08/2019.)

Jekel became active in civic matters in Riverside. He became a leading figure in the development of a public zoo in the city during the 1930s. "In 1933, Riverside established a zoo on the northern shore of Fairmount Lake, right across from the boathouse. Architect Henry Jekel was one of the moving forces behind the zoo. Used lumber from the old fairgrounds was used to build a structure to house native and exotic animals. by 1935, some of the animals had died, and the public lost interest in the zoo. The city was reluctant to continue funding the zoo, and it was closed. The buildings stood until the late 1940s, when they found their final use as part of Poly High teacher and coach Bob Hallock's day camp for children. Later, a small amusement park was built on the former zoo site by Ray Watson and Leon Barnes. The park included a carousel, a miniature train that ran on a circular track and one or two other rides. Next to the amusement park there was a miniature golf course. Today all of the amusement activities mentioned have been removed." (See Hal Duran, True Stories of Riverside and the Inland Empire, [Charleston, SC: History Press, 2013], n.p.)

PCAD id: 8425