Paul O. Moratz Collection

Processed by
Carol Straka

August 2009

Table of Contents
Paul O. Moratz

Collection Information
Volume of Collection:
One Box
Collection Dates:
1852 - 2009
Reproduction Rights:
Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained in writing from the McLean County Museum of History.
Alternative Formats:
Other Finding Aids: None
Location: Archives

See also Archives Vertical files for Moratz, Arthur and Moratz, Paul, Moratz, Palma: Cemetery Walk research
Photograph Collection Subjects: Moratz Moratz Planing Mill (Business Interiors); Architects: Paul O Moratz

The planing mill owned by Paul Moratz circa 1915


Vehicle used to transport oak flooring and other oak products


Historical Sketch

Paul O. Moratz (1866-1939)
  A Bloomington architect for over thirty years, Moratz designed Bloomington's 5000-seat Coliseum (1892), Edwards School and many other public buildings and residences. Bloomington's historic White Place's neighborhood contains many Moratz designs. And, many Midwestern towns still use Moratz-designed Carnegie libraries. Both architectural studies at the University of Illinois and practical experience with his father's construction business guided Moratz' work. In 1899, Moratz wrote a plan book for "Up-to-Date Homes," modern homes made from standardized plans and using mass-produced wooden trim. He was the proprietor of Acme Planing Mill. After the mill burned in 1925, he rebuilt to specialize in ready-to-install oak flooring-something he had popularized in town.

  Born the eldest child of Herman and Emelie Eisner Moratz in Posen, Germany, Moratz immigrated to the US with his parents about age of two. His carpenter father worked as a contractor and ran a woodworking shop in Bloomington's German community, which his son eventually assumed. Paul Moratz married Bloomington's Emma Riebsame in 1893 and they had two sons.

Arthur F. Moratz (1882-1963)
  Arthur, Paul's youngest sibling, was born and raised in Bloomington and attended the University of Illinois to study architecture. Arthur first worked as a draftsman for his brother then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, for about four years to partner with Sampson Fountain whom he probably met at university. The firm of Fountain and Moratz designed many churches, commercial buildings and homes especially throughout the Midwest.

   Arthur returned to his hometown about 1913 as an independent architect. In Bloomington-Normal, je designed the McBarnes Memorial Building (1922), Holy Trinity Church (1932), and the Normal Theater (1937.) He is best known for his churches, mostly concentrated in the Midwest. He married Rose Ward in 1905 and had five children.

Scope and Contents Note

  This collection contains a miscellany of items, such as newspaper articles, building specifications, correspondence, Paul Moratz publications, etc. The collection is focused on the architects Paul and Arthur, but also contains some items concerning other family members.


Box and Folder Inventory

Folder 1:
Paul Moratz General
Advertisement for P. O. Moratz, architect. Daily Leader February 26, 1892
Advertisement for Paul O. Moratz, architect, "Bloomington Illinois Before and After the Great Fire of June 19, 1900"
St. Patrick's Church, source unknown, handwritten note "published in 1901" Includes photos & architect sketch, advertisement, etc. (6 pages)
"Bloomington Priest Builds a Handsome Church at Fairbury," Pantagraph, June 11, 1902
"The New School and Convent at Pontiac", Pantagraph, July 2, 1902. (St. Mary's)
"St. John's Parish Church," Daily Bulletin, November 9, 1902, plus color digital scan dated April 2005
"Laying the Corner Stone," Weekly Bulletin, August 2, 1902, includes picture of the new library at Pekin. (2 pages)
"Accepted Design for Edwards School," Sunday Bulletin, November 23, 1902
"How the New Edwards School Will Look When Finished, "Pantagraph, November 29, 1902
Advertisement from Bloomington & Normal City Directory, 1904
"The Dominy Memorial Library,: Fairbury's The Blade, July 22, 1904 (2 pages)
"The Dominy Memorial Library is Dedicated at Fairbury," Daily Bulletin, June 20, 1905
"Dominy Memorial Library at Fairbury," Pantagraph, February 21, 1911
"Death of Mrs. Moratz" pantagraph, May 15, 1911 (Mother of Paul Moratz)
"John F. Rees Dies at 75," Pantagraph, November 27, 1911. (Rees served as contractor for some of Moratz's Carnegie libraries.)
"Fountain and Moratz," The Ohio Architect Engineer and Builder, Vol XIX, January 1912, No.1. Partial print of internet available article.
"Bloomingtonian's You Ought to Know," Pantagraph, June 30, 1914
Advertisement in The Ohio Architect, Engineer and Builder, Vol. XXV, No 1, January 1915, p 95
Acme Planing Mill advertisement, Pantagraph, October 16, 1915
Advertisement for oak flooring, Pantagraph, April 5, 1927
"Coming of Machines Marked Mill Epoch," Pantagraph, February 10, 1929 (2 pages)
Page 668 of 1929 Alumni Directory, University of Illinois, listing Paul O Moratz and Arthur F Moratz plus Illini Inventory and Illinois Alumni Notes (3 pages)
"Exterior of Edwards School, 25 Year Old, Is Shown, Pantagraph, May 23, 1930
"Planning Mill Fire Damage is $40,000- Firemen Save Half of Plant" November 29, 1931
"Reminiscence of the Early Days at the University of Illinois," typed copy of Paul's speech to the Illini Club of Bloomington, Illinois, May 25, 1938
"Paul O. Moratz, Architect, Dies; Here 71 Years," Pantagraph, March 5, 1939
"Mrs. Moratz Dies--Wife of Architect, " Pantagraph, August 20, 1946
"Edwards Grade School Sold for $30,000 on Auction Block," source unknown, stamped August 9, 1974
"Remember?" source unknown, stamped Jan 29, 1980 (Edwards School)
"The New Stone Bridge, Miller Park," Bulletin, date unknown
"No Roof at the Inn," Pantagraph, 1962, April 30
"Range of Past Architect's Work Wide, Pantagraph, June 14, 1990
"Local World War I marker moves to history museum," Pantagraph, May 30, 2004
"Paul Moratz: The 'up-to-date Architect," Pantagraph, April 29, 2007
Details from City Directories from 1886-1939, handwritten (5 pages)
"Paul O. Moratz," research paper by Karen Wagner, January 1984, includes information about Moratz designed homes, including occupants (past and present), descriptions, and projects


Folder 2:
Paul Moratz: Carnegie Libraries
Photocopy of correspondence from Paul O Moratz to R.A. Franks concerning sending plans and specs for proposed Carnegie Library at Sycamore, August 12, 1904
"Sycamore Public Library Soon to be Built," Sycamore True Republican, November 5, 1904
Photocopy of correspondence from Paul O Moratz to R.A. Frank requesting that the set of plans and specs for the under-construction Sycamore library be sent to Mr. Carnegie's office, April 13, 1905
Photocopy of photo of cornerstone of Sycamore Public Library erected 1905 and showing Rees and Moratz's names, undated
"Bids Rejected, Library Committee Turned All Down" unidentified and undated newspaper article plus photocopies about follow up assurances from architect on the matter (2 pages)
"List of Communities in the United States Receiving Carnegie Grants for Public Library Buildings," Appendix B from Carnegie Libraries: Their History and Impact on American Public Library Development by George S. Bobinski, 1969. (19 pages)
Correspondence from Robbie D Jones to McLean County Historical Society, December 23, 1997, concerning his paper on Carnegie Libraries in Tennessee including the Harriman
"What's in a name? Carnegie Libraries in Tennessee, 1889-1919," Graduate Research paper by Robbie D. Jones, December 1997 (7 pages)
"The Greenville Public Library," Historic Illinois, Volume 27, Number 4, December 2004
List of 3 Paul Moratz designed libraries in Illinois extracted from the National Register for Historical Places, undated
List of 3 Paul Moratz designed libraries extracted from Philadelphia Architects and Buildings database on February 11, 2005
Internet printout on Whiting Public Library history, accessed 2005 February 11 (2 pages)
Internet printout on "Carnegie Legacy in Kansas" accessed 2005 February 11 with histories of 3 libraries (6 pages)
"Libraries by Bloomington Architects," typed list of Paul Moratz and AT Simmons designs from Carnegie Libraries in Illinois by Bobinski
Handwritten list of "Carnegie Libraries in Illinois by Paul O Moratz", undated (2 pages)


Folder 3:
Paul Moratz: Specifications
"Specifications for a residence to be erected for G. A. Ensenberger Esq at Bloomington, Ill.," undated (20 pages plus covers)


Folder 4:
Paul Moratz: Publications
Cottages, a catalogue of views and plans of buildings by Paul O. Moratz, undated (about 50 pages)
Artistic Homes, March 1904, Vol. 1, No. 1, published monthly by Paul O. Moratz (18 pages)
Artistic Homes, July 1904, Vol.1., No. 5, published monthly by Paul O. Moratz (original publication and photocopy included, 14 pages each)


Folder 5:
Paul Moratz: Business Papers
Letter & envelope to Paul O Moratz from State of Illinois Board of Examiners of Architects, December 17, 1897, indicating approval of application for license to practice
Warranty Deed No. 3040, from Henry and Anna Daniel to Paul O. Moratz for a parcel in Wolcotts second addition in Bloomington, May 12, 1893
Postal cards from Superintendent Water Works in Bloomington for quarterly rent of Tap No 1009, September 1889 and March 1890, each stamped "Received Payment" (2 items)
Postcard "Acknowledgement of Accident Report," to Paul O Moratz from Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company regarding Carl Schneider, postmarked August 13, 1918


Folder 6: Business envelopes & cards, etc.
Envelopes for business correspondence addressed to Paul Moratz and/or Planing Mill from various businesses, late 1890s to early 1920s (28 items); envelopes addressed to Herman Moratz or Roland Moratz (6 items); Envelopes with Paul Moratz return address, undated (3 items); Stamped business reply envelopes/cards addressed to various businesses, undated (53 items)


Folder 7:
Arthur Moratz
"Dedicate New U.B. Church at Saybrook," Pantagraph, January 22, 1916 (2 pages)
"List of McLean County Solider and Sailors Who Died in 'World War'" Pantagraph, June 13, 1921
"Work is Begun on $100,000 Building," Pantagraph, August 2, 1931 (Sampson Oil Building)
"Normal Theater to Be Modernistic," Pantagraph August 22, 1937
"A Handsome New Catholic Church," Chicago Tribune, 1950 (St. Rita of Cascia)
Stationery with "A.F. Moratz Architect" letterhead including envelopes (8 items)
Correspondence from G. Koos to Margaret Lane, February 29, 1984, about developing a list of buildings designed by Arthur Moratz
Reply correspondence from Margaret Lane to Greg Koos, March 4, 1984
Handwritten notes of Interview with Paul Moratz by Greg Koos, April 14, 1984, about listing Arthur Moratz' buildings
Handwritten notes of Interview with Catherine Koos by Greg Koos, April 16, 1984, about listing Arthur Moratz' buildings
Correspondence from G Koos to Keith Sculle of Illinois Historic Sites Division, April 16, 1984, concerning a list of Arthur's buildings complied by Arthur's son
Photocopy of Paul Moratz' list of his father Arthur's buildings with photos, undated, 11 pages
Correspondence from Paul Moratz to Catherine Koos, April 31, 1985, discussing Arthur's preference for the term "Modern Gothic" rather than "Art Deco" for his church design
Correspondence from Rbt S Gamble of Alabama Historical Commission to Greg Koos, December 11, 1998, on St. Johns of Cullman, Alabama, and other churches. Includes 2 printed pages from the church on its building, undated. (3 pages)
Correspondence from Greg Koos to Rbt Gamble of Alabama Historical Commission, December 13, 1998, discussing Moratz' church architecture
Correspondence from Rbt Gamble of Alabama Historical Commission to Greg Koos, 26 December 1998, discussing church architecture
Correspondence from Rbt Gable of Alabama Historical Commission, to Greg Koos, 26 December 1998, discussing St. Johns Church in Cullman
Correspondence from Carolina Nigg to Greg Koos, 28 December 1998, on St. Johns Church in Cullman
Photocopy of handwritten notes, presumably written by Greg Koos, on Arthur Moratz buildings, 1985-1988
Handwritten notes, writer unknown, identifying papers on architectural subjects including German influences in architecture, undated
"Frigid Fluid factory building," Internet printout from University Of Minnesota Libraries, copyright 2001, no access date (2 pages)
List of buildings of architect A.F. Moratz, compiler unknown, June 8, 2006 (2 pages)
Info from Cleveland Architects database concerning Fountain & Moratz, Cleveland Landmarks Commission, accessed on line July 2009


Folder 8:
Arthur Moratz: Specifications
"Specifications for the Material and Labor for the Remodeling of the Livingston Estate Building Located on the Northwest Corner of Center and Washington Streets, Bloomington, Illinois," by A.F. Moratz, undated, (12 pages)


Folder 9:
Palma Moratz
Typed note copying 1904 Bloomington-Normal Directory listing for Palma
"Palma Moratz Dead," Pantagraph, May 13, 1911
"Palma Moratz, Teacher of Dramatic Art, Elocution and Physical Culture," undated photocopy from unknown source, describing her offerings and pricing


Folder 10:
Postcards from Covenant Mutual Benefit Association of Galesburg, Ill, for Mortuary Calls for Herman Moratz of Bloomington stamped for payment received, 1892-97 (11 items)
German picture postcard addressed to Roland Moratz from "Frieda", 1913 April 29
Unused picture postcards of London and ocean liner, undated (4 items)
Invitation for "Social and Dance," sponsored by Mozart Lodge (a Masonic Lodge), June 12, 1885 (note: Herman Moratz served on the Floor committee.)


Folder 11:
German Language Items
Confirmation Certificate for Christoph August Moratz, 20 May 1852, in Wongrowiec (sp?), Germany
Government document with wax stamp and seal regarding Herman Moratz, 27 June 1854
?? Government document with seal regarding carpenter Johann Moratz, 8 August 1866
Hand printed greetings on 1st birthday from Grandfather Carl Trimter (sp?), 4 May 1896 (Note: great grandson Roland Moratz born 4 May 1895)
Hand printed greetings on 27th birthday from Grandfather Carl Trimter, 22 June 1897(Note: granddaughter. Emma Riebsame, who later married Paul Moratz, was born in 1870)


Folder 12: Before and After the Great Fire
"City of Bloomington, Illinois, Before and After the Great Fire of June 19, 1900," by the Pantagraph Printing and Stationery Co. (16 pages)


Folder 13: White City Magazine
The White City Magazine, No. 4 Vol. I, May 1905 concerning "Chicago's $1,000,000 Amusement Enterprise"


Folder 14:
Miscellaneous Publications
"How to Know a Piano," by Nathaniel Stephenson, booklet published by Baldwin & Co, 1900 (12 pages)
"Singer Souvenir of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, AD 1904," booklet, 1904, 20 pages
"Instructions forming Part III of the Gaskell's Compendium of Self-Teaching Penmanship" by G.A. Gaskell, 21st edition, 1881 (18 pages)
"Manual Sheldon Public Schools" Sheldon, Illinois, 1901, only about 6 of the 58 pages are included; balance missing.


Folder 15: Stamps
Includes assortment of early 20th century stamps, cancelled, plus unused pre-posted envelope, etc.


Folder 16:
103 W. Wood St.
Blue Prints for Amoco Oil Company, Preliminary Site Plan for Amoco Oil Company
Newspaper Articles (Pantagraph unless noted)
"Home Work," September 25, 1989
"Keep that house and forget Amoco station," March 20, 1991
"Vote on Amoco rezoning Tuesday," May 25, 1991
"Amoco station gets green light with zoning vote," May 25, 1991
"Council should reject zoning change request," July 1, 1990
"Amoco oil delays South Hill station" July 30, 1991
"Outsiders destroying Bloomington's heritage," August 3, 1991
"Historic home gets reprieve," September 4, 1991
"Wouldn't it be nice if city considered alternatives?", August 6, 1991
"House relocation chances waning," September 10, 1991
"Grim reaper to appear at house demolition," Daily Vidette, September 18, 1991
"People protest demolition of local house," Daily Vidette, September 20, 1991, (2 copies)
"Older home's finest qualities well preserved in Amoco plan," September 28, 1991, Cartoon (no date)
"Historic move," (no date)
"Amoco could help save historic Klingman house," (no date)
"Building 'filling station' no real gas anymore," (no date)
Hayes, Schneider, Hammer, Miles, & Cox to Ms. Sharon Gilfand, May 31, 1991
Amoco Companies, Chicago Area Office to Ms. Sharon Gilfand, June 20, 1991
Sharon Gilfand & Allene Gregory to Mr. Malcom, June 24, 1991
Allen Gregory to Mr. Fuller, July 11, 1991
Amoco Oil Company, Chicago Area Office, to Allene Gregory, July 19, 1991
Paul Simon, U. S. Senator, to Ms. Sharon Gilfand, July 30, 1991
Sharon K. Gilfand to Mr. Fuller, August 6, 1991
Bill Wills to Sharon Gilfand, August 12, 1991
Amoco Oil Company, Chicago Area Office to Sharon K. Gilfand, August 15, 1991
Sharon to (no name listed), September 3, 1991
National Trust for Historic Preservation to (no name listed), September 18, 1991
National Trust for Historic Preservation to Sharon Gilfand, September 25, 1991
  City of Bloomington to Sharon Gilfand, October 2, 1991
Handwritten letter to the editor, by Jessica Gilfand, (no date)
Handwritten note, by Allene Gregory, (no date)
South Hill Neighborhood Association NEWS, Spring 1991
Typewritten letter to the editor by Allene Gregory & Cynthia Veselak, (no date)
Hand drawn map of Klingman Home area indicating current established businesses and homes in the area, (no date)
Handwritten notes with phone numbers and contact people, (no date)
Typewritten notes read at the "funeral service for the home," (no date)
Proclamation by Mayor Jesse R. Smart, declaring June 3 and 4, 1988 as Historic Preservation Days, declaration made on May 11, 1988


McLean County Museum of History Collections and Research