Buechner & Orth

Buechner & Orth


Buechner & Orth was a St. Paul, Minnesota-based architectural firm that designed buildings in Minnesota and surrounding states, including 13 courthouses in North Dakota. It was the subject of a 1979 historic resources study.


Charles W. Buechner (1859-1924)


Charles W. Buechner the founding partner of Buechner & Orth, was born in Germany in 1859. He emigrated to the United States in 1874 and worked for a time at the Northern Pacific Railway as a surveyor and civil engineer, eventually becoming the Superintendent of Tracks, Buildings and Bridges. He left the Northern Pacific and studied architecture under noted Minnesota architect Clarence H. Johnston Sr..


In 1892, he founded the firm Buechner & Jacobson with partner John H. Jacobson. They designed at least three Minnesota courthouses in the popular Richardsonian Romanesque style.


In 1902, John Jacobson died, so Buechner formed a new partnership with Henry W. Orth, a recent Norwegian immigrant. They designed the Pierce County Courthouse in the Neoclassical Revival style popularized by the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. In the next 25 years, they designed at least 19 other courthouses in this style.


Henry Orth (1866 - 19  )


Harold William Orth was born on a ship en route to the United States from Christiana (Oslo), Norway, on April 14, 1866. He was educated at a business college (location unknown). He married Esther Susan Trigalet and settled in St. Paul, Minnesota.


He became a partner of Frank W. Kinney (1855–1929) in Austin, Minnesota, in 1895. The partnership of Kinney and Orth designed several large buildings in various parts of Minnesota until 1900. The work of architects Kinney & Orth included the Winnebago County Courthouse, a Romanesque-style building made of red brick and trimmed with stone, built during 1896 in Forest City, Iowa.


In 1902, Orth joined Charles Buechner (1859–1924) in St. Paul. Buechner remained a partner with Orth in the architectural firm Buechner & Orth until his death in 1924. The firm specialized in designing courthouses and theaters throughout the Midwest and was one of the most successful architectural practices of its day in the area. Buechner & Orth was known for its use of Beaux-Arts architecture.


Among the many buildings designed by Buechner & Orth:


  • Cleveland High School (St. Paul), 1909

  • Empress Theatre (St. Paul), 1910

  • Grand Theatre (Grand Forks, ND), 1919

  • Labor Temple (St. Paul), 1922

  • Lagoon Theatre (Minneapolis), 1915

  • Luther Seminary (St. Paul), several buildings for, 1921, 1923

  • Masonic Temple (St. Paul)

  • Shubert Theatre (St. Paul), 1909 & 1910

  • Henry Orth residence (St. Paul), 1915

  • Palace Theatre (St. Paul), 1916

  • St. Alexius Hospital (Bismarck, ND), 1914

  • Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children (Minneapolis), 1922

  • State Theatre (Sioux Falls, SD), 1925

  • Fargo Theatre (Fargo, North Dakota), 1925

  • Drawings for 19 courthouses in Minnesota, and North and South Dakota, 1907–1926, and plans of nearly 100 residences, most of them in Minneapolis and St. Paul.[6]

200 West Sith Street  Sioux Falls SD 57104             (605) 951-9200             info@minnehahahistory.org

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