Leo M.J. Dielmann

Leo M.J. Dielmann

Scanned portrait of architect Leo M.J. Dielmann originally appearing in Dielmann's Review.

Architect and Civic Leader

Leo Maria Joseph Dielmann (1881–1969), architect and civic leader, the son of architect John Charles and Maria (Gros) Dielmann, was born on August 14, 1881 in San Antonio. He graduated from St. Mary's College in 1898 and later studied architecture and engineering in Germany.

Upon graduating, he returned to San Antonion and joined his father's firm J. C. Dielmann Co. Shortly thereafter the younger Dielman was appointed Chief Building Inspector for the City of San Antonio.

As an architect, he designed many buildings and homes throughout San Antonio, especially churches, designing at  least eight across Texas, including Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Mission, Texas.

See also, Leo M. J. Dielmann Papers, Col 883, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Collection, Alamo Research Center, San Antonio, Texas.

John Charles Dielmann (left) and Leo Maria Joseph Dielmann (right). 

Leo Maria Joseph Dielmann at his desk (right). Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Sacred Heart Conventual Chapel in San Antonio

Sacred Heart Conventual Chapel. Image source: Chapel Information. Home, 28 Nov. 2022.

Sacred Heart Conventual Chapel

Designed by architect Leo M.J. Dielmann for the Sisters of Divine Providence, the Sacred Heart Conventual Chapel is located on the campus of Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) in San Antonio.

The chapel constructed completed in 1923 connected two earlier original structures, including a main building and a convent. The three-story Late building is crowned by a 193-foot-tall central tower.

The National Register of Historic Places Registration form (2021) highlights, "Its Late Gothic Revival style reflects English and German Gothic traditions in the broad perpendicular arches, central tower and spire, and a nave that terminates with a polygonal apse. Exterior buttresses, lancet windows, salient tower gables, and crocketed pinnacles are additional elements that distinguish the Chapel as having Late Gothic Revival style."

LaBorde House Hotel

The LaBorde hotel was originally designed in Paris in 1893 for Francoise LaBorde. LaBorde was a merchant who was born in New Orleans and raised in Matamoros. The hotel was a nexus for guests involved in trading and leisure. The structure itself is composed of gingerbread and Queen Anne styles.  

Since its inception, LaBorde Hotel has been listed in the National Register for Historic Places. The hotel was fashioned in the sense of the period when riverboats traversed the Rio Grande River. 

Dielmann was hired in 1917 to add a second story to the side and rear wings to house. He did such a great job that his additions appear to be original. To this day the hotel has been in continuous service.  

Additional Resources

"About Us." La Borde House (website)

"About the Sacred Heart Conventual Chapel and Auditorium." Chapel Information, Congregation of Divine Providence (website).

Bernice Strong, “Dielmann, Leo Maria Joseph,” Handbook of Texas Online.

Dielmann, Leo M. J., Papers, Drawings, and Photographs, Additions, 1847-1961, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Highsmith, C. M., photographer. (2014) Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Mission, Texas. United States Mission Texas, 2014. -03-13. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

Leo M.J. Dielmann, Society of Architectural Historians.

Newlan, Ralph Edward. "Leo M. J. Dielmann: Ecclesiology and the Continuation of a German Gothic Architectural Tradition in Twentieth Century Texas." MA Thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1988.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church Mission, Texas 80, 1990-1991, 2009, Container: 79, Box: 3, Folder: 7. Hidalgo County Historical Commission Collection, ELIBR-0079. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Special Collections and Archives, Edinburg Campus.

Sacred Heart Conventual Chapel, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. (2021). 

Leo M.J. Dielmann