Erhard Brielmaier (1841-1917) immigrated from Germany as a young man to Cincinnati where he studied drawing and drafting. In 1874, he arrived in Milwaukee to become a nationally recognized architect especially in the Midwest. Along with his five sons, Brielmaier changed the name of his firm to E. Brielmaier and Sons. The most notable of his nearly thirty historical buildings in Milwaukee is the Minor Basilica of St. Josaphat’s. During the construction of the Basilica he completed not only the Gothic Revival Calvary Cemetery Gate House in 1897, but two years later designed the Cream City Romanesque style Calvary Chapel built on one of the highest peaks in Milwaukee. The Chapel is a reflection of St. Josephat’s in miniature. The Calvary Chapel was dedicated in 1902 on All Souls Day.
Erhard Brielmaier is buried in Calvary Cemetery surrounded by his family including his daughter Clothilda Brielmaier, (1867-1915). Clothilda studied art in Munich and Rome and returned to Milwaukee to become the first woman to own her own studio in the United States.
In addition to churches designed by Brielmaier (St. Casimir’s, St. Benedict the Moor, St. George Melkite Church), he also designed the following: the Gothic chapel of St. Francis of Assisi; the encasement for the organ of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran; the altar and pulpit of St. Francis Church; the baptismal font of St. Michael’s Catholic Church.