St Philips in the Hills church designed by Josias Joesler

Tucson’s most well-known architect? Josias Joesler

Last Updated on August 24, 2021 by Kim Labriola

Joesler and the Murpheys

Josias Joesler is arguably the most well-known Tucson architect. Originally from Switzerland and coming to Tucson after living in various cities across Europe and then California, Joesler collaborated with developer John Murphey and his wife Helen on over 400 residential and commercial projects in Tucson from 1927 until his death in 1956.

Josias Joesler homes for sale

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Please note, many Realtors describe homes as “Joesler-like”. This list may include homes not designed by Josias Joesler.


Interested in buying or selling a Joesler home? Contact us today: Hello@RealTucson.com or 520-975-8956


Mortar washed burnt adobe was a signature building material for Josias Joesler

Joesler buildings

Some of the projects that Joesler is known for are the St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church (1936) at River and Campbell, the Broadway Village (1939) at Broadway and Country Club, The Ghost Ranch Lodge (1941) on Miracle Mile, St. Michael’s & All Angels Episcopal Church (1953) on Wilmot, and many homes in the Catalina Foothills Estates and Tucson Country Club Estates neighborhoods.

Joesler's own residence built in 1936 in midtown Tucson
Joesler’s own residence built in 1936 in midtown Tucson

Joesler style

Joesler was known for designing homes in many different types of Revival styles, but using local materials to create a romantic version of what newcomers expected to see in the area. Often his buildings used mortar washed burnt adobe, stuccoed adobe, clay tile floors, clay tile roofs, brick chimney details, and wrought iron weather vanes.

Joesler designed home from 1936
Joesler designed home from 1936

A Joesler home in Tucson Country Club

Broadway Village built in 1936, designed by Josias Joesler
Joesler’s Broadway Village at Broadway and Country Club
Broadway village shopping center
Broadway Village – Arizona’s first stand-alone shopping center

This is the fourth in a series of blogs about important Tucson Architects. Next week will feature Nicholas Sakellar, FAIA.


Buying or selling a home in Tucson? Contact us Hello@RealTucson.com or 520-975-8956