"20th Century Midwest Architect"

Albert Schippel - Architect

Brief Background

If you go for a walk in Mankato, Minnesota you don't have to go far before you see a building that was designed by Albert Schippel. Even driving into town the Schippel-designed Bethany College may catch your eye from above the eastern end of the valley.

Albert Schippel was born in Wisconsin in the year of 1862 and was of Saxon-Prussian decent. By the time of the Dakota uprising of 1862 the Schippel family had moved to the Mankato area. In the 1880's he was working as a carpenter and had become associated with George Pass a local architect who also has several of his works still in existence. Shortly after losing three fingers of his left hand in a woodworking accident he joined with George Pass to form the Pass & Schippel architectural firm.

After starting his own firm in 1902 Schippel began a long, lucrative carrer of designing buildings in Mankato and the surrounding area. His buildings include schools, homes, townhouses, armories and even a hospital. These structures incorporated many of the then-popular styles of the era. Albert Schippel was not as well-known as Frank Lloyd Wright but during this time both of them were designing buildings that made use of similar styles and innovations.

Around 1920 Schippel started a firm with Ernest H. Schmidt who would later design the Mankato Armory as well as similar structures.

During a winter stay in Dallas, Texas Albert Schippel died on 22 January 1935 and was 72 years of age. He leaves behind a legacy of his work which can still be viewed and enjoyed.

Some Buildings Designed By Albert Schippel

Oleander Saloon Oleander Saloon (1901).

The Oleander Saloon is Located at 701 N. Riverfront Drive (701 N. Front at the time of it's construction). The building was designed by the architectural firm of Pass & Schippel and shortly afterwards Albert Schippel started up his own firm.

Originally the second story of the structure was used for living quarters but have since been renovated as the What's Up bar.

In the late 1800's a dwelling or boarding house stood on the site of 703 N Front and extended into 701. When the Oleander was built part of the dwelling was removed and by the late teens to early twenties the entire house was demolished. Legend has it that the name Oleander came about because of oleander trees that were growing in the windows.

Note the style that was used in this brickwork.

Half Moon Design on Oleander
Detailed Design
Oleander Saloon.

Immanuel Lutheran School Immanuel Lutheran School (1903).

This was one of the first buildings designed by Albert Schippel after the firm of Pass & Schippel was dissolved. The building is located on the southeast corner of North Broad and Washington Streets.

Immanuel Lutheran Grade School was used as a school for kindergarten to eigth grade from when it was built in 1903 until [1969] when classes moved to a newer structure connected to the church on the southeast corner of North Second and Spring streets 2 blocks away.

Note the curved arches similar in style to the detail of the Oleander Saloon.

Bethany Lutheran College (1910).

Originally built as the German Evangelical Ladies Seminary it has since become Bethany Lutheran College.

The building was designed as a main structure with two wings employing a utilitarian interpretation on a u-shaped "palazzo" plan.

Main Building of Bethany College
Bethany College
Main Building
Bethany North Wing

The south wing has since been razed leaving the north wing and main part of the school. Roof dormers have also been added which were not part of the original design.

North Wing
Bethany College

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