Josias Joesler

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Josias Joesler
Born Josias Thomas Joesler
Zurich, Switzerland
Died February 12, 1956
Tucson, Arizona
Nationality Swiss-American
Education Königliche Bayerische Akademie der Bildenden Kunst
Known for Architecture, Design
Notable work St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church
Movement revival

Josias Thomas Joesler was a Swiss-American Tucson, Arizona architect.

Life and Work[edit]

Joesler was born in 1895 in Zurich, his architectural legacy would come to articulate the romantic revival Tucson style of the first half of the 20th century. Educated in Germany and France, he lived in Spain before moving on the new New World, living and working in Havana, Cuba, Mexico City and Los Angeles, California.[1] Joesler married his wife Natividad and the two moved to Tucson in 1927.

His major surviving commercial architectural buildings are spread throughout the historic Tucson core. Extant buildings are clustered along the Fourth Avenue shopping district and the Broadway Village Shopping center on the corner of Country Club and Broadway. Other major commercial buildings include the Saint Philips Church and Plaza at Campbell and River Road, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church at 5th and Wilmot and The Ghost Ranch Lodge on Miracle Mile.

Many of his residential buildings are in the Catalina Foothills Estates and in the Historic Blennman-Elm Neighborhood, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. His buildings utilized traditional southwestern hand crafted decorative motifs including: hand applied plaster, hand hewn beams, colored concrete floors and decorative iron/tin work.

Joesler died in Tucson on 12 February 1956. Natividad Joesler died in Spain June 23, 1963.

Note: According to historian David Leighton, of the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, Joesler Village on North Campbell Avenue and East River Road, in Tucson, Arizona, is named in his honor and there is a small street in the Sam Hughes Neighborhood that bears his name.

Extant Buildings[edit]

All buildings located in Tucson unless otherwise noted.

  • Arizona History Museum (1954) (Arizona Historical Society headquarters, Joesler's last project)- 949 E. Second St. at Park Ave.
  • Broadway Village Shopping Center (1939) - Southwest corner of Broadway Blvd. and Country Club Road.
  • Don Martin Apartments - 605 East 9th Street.
  • Haynes Building (1928) - 310 East 6th Street
  • Fourth Avenue Shops (1928) - 616 North 4th Avenue
  • Seventh-Day Adventist Chapel (1942) - 1200 North Mountain Avenue
  • Tucson Unified School District Educational Building Expansion (1948) - 1010 East 10th Street
  • Murphey-Keith Office Building & Catalina Foothills Estate Estate Sales Office/Joesler Studio (1937) - River Road and Campbell Avenue
  • Hutton Webster Studio and Residence (1939) - River Road and Campbell Avenue
  • Murphey-Keith Building Company Office (1940) - River Road and Campbell Avenue.
  • El Merendero Tea Room & Gift Shop (1937) - River Road and Campbell Avenue.
  • St. Philip's Park (1936) - River Road and Campbell Avenue.
  • Catalina Foothills School (1931) Built by the New Deal Works Projects Administration (WPA) - River Road east of Campbell Avenue.
  • Catalina Foothills Estates - North of River Road between Campbell Avenue and Hacienda del Sol
  • Downtown Motor Hotel (1941) - 383 S Stone Ave
  • Americana Apartments (1941) - 151 S. Eastbourne
  • Grace Mansion (Eleven Arches) (1937) - Catalina Foothills Estates
  • Joesler/Loerpabel Residence (1936)
  • Johnson Residence (1936)
  • St. Michael's and All Angels Episcopal Church (1953) - 620 North Wilmot Road
  • Our Saviour's Lutheran Church (1948) Campbell and Helen

Demolished Buildings[edit]

  • Old World Addition (1927–1928) - Mabel Street, Campbell Avenue, Elm Street and Martin Avenue. Demolished (1970s)


  1. ^ U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. National Register of Historic Places Continuation Sheet, Section 8, Page 13,

Jeffery, R. Brooks. Joesler & Murphey: An Architectural Legacy for Tucson. (1994)

Tucson Home Magazine. A Joesler Retrospective Two Parts:

AZ Daily Star:

Gellner, Arrol. Red Tile Style: America's Spanish Revival Architecture. Penguin Group, 2002.

Wangner, The Arts and Decoration Book of Successful Houses, Robert M. McBride & Co. 1940.

Tibbets, Joe. Adobe News, Issue #10, 1976.

Regan, Margaret, Joesler Jostle, Tucson Weekly March 15, 2001:

Tucson Daily Citizen, Foothills Architects Appointed, June 12, 1957 p. 6

Brown, Mary. Tucson Daily Citizen, Mountain Vista Surrounds Home of Arthur Presents. January 19, 1963.

Brown, Mary. Tucson Daily Citizen, Ambitions Realized. December 18, 1965. p. 50.

McNeil, Barbara. Tucson Daily Citizen, TFAA Tour of Homes Highlights Local Architecture and Interiors. March 7, 1959. p. 50.

Smith, Barbara. Tucson Daily Citizen, The Dentons Chose a Perfect House for Their Indian Art. October 29, 1960.

Smith, Barbara. Tucson Daily Citizen, An Old House Comes to Live Again. February 3, 1962. p 50.

Tucson Daily Citizen, Mrs. Joesler Dies; Former Tucsonian. July 2, 1963 p 23.

National Register of Historic Places. Architects in the El Montevideo Neighborhood.

Leighton, David. Arizona Daily Star, Street Smarts: Tiny street honors famous Tucson architect. September 16, 2014

External links[edit]

St. Phillips Church:

Episcopal Parish of St. Michael And All Angels :

Ghost Ranch Lodge:

David Leighton, "Street Smarts: Tiny street honors famous Tucson architect," Arizona Daily Star, Sept. 16, 2014