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St. Patrick Catholic Church in Imogen, Iowa


Harry Lawrie

The architect of the 1915 St. Patrick Church and the 1922 St. Patrick Convent was born in Dumfurmline, Scotland in 1858. He was the son of Henry Lawrie and Helen Blair Lawrie. She was the sister of Scottish painter Andrew Blair. Harry wed Ellen Halley Webster of Scotland.

He studied at the School of Art in Glasgow where his talents became so recognized that he was made President of the Draughtman’s Association of that city. He had nine years of experience in Glasgow & Edinburgh before immigrating to Chicago in 1883. He entered the office of Burham & Root where his services were recognized and valued. In 1886 Architect W. W. Clay engaged Lawrie as head draftsman of his designing department. Mr. Clay’s well-known ability, together with Mr. Lawrie’s valuable service, made them one of the strongest architectural firms of Chicago.

He moved to Omaha in 1887 and joined the firm of Mendelssohn, Fisher & Lawrie. He remained with that firm until 1913. He was responsible for the design of many buildings on his own and with others. His last design was that of the old Municipal Airport in Omaha, NE. Many of his designs, including our church, are on the National Register of Historic Places. He died in 1935. 

His credits include:

Field Club golf course-1898 with the back nine added for the opening of the 1902 season

Trans- Mississippi & International Exposition–Liberal Arts Building

YMCA building

Orpheum Theater

Sacred Heart Church

Storz Mansion

Woodmen of the World

1903-Fire Substation #1 (now Upstream Brewery in the Old Market)

1916-narrow western wing of Fairmont Creamery in the Old Market all in Omaha

Morton-James Library in Nebraska City

Montgomery County Jail in Red Oak