William B. Ittner

William Butts Ittner (September 4, 1864 – 1936) was an architect in St. Louis, Missouri. He designed over 430 school buildings in Missouri and other areas, was president of the St. Louis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects from 1893 to 1895,[1] was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Missouri in 1930, served as president of the Architectural League of America during 1903–04, and at the time of his death was president of the St. Louis Plaza Commission, a fellow and life member of the American Institute of Architects, and a thirty-third degree Mason.[2] He was described as the most influential man in school architecture in the United States[3] and has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.[4] He was appointed St. Louis School Board commissioner in 1897 and is said to have designed open buildings that featured "natural lighting, inviting exteriors, and classrooms tailored to specific needs." [5] In 1936, Ittner died.[6] His legacy is survived by the William B. Ittner, Inc. and Ittner & Bowersox, Inc. architecture firms in St. Louis.[6]

Art Deco style of the Continental Life Building in St. Louis


His parents were Anthony F. and Mary Butts Ittner.[1] His father worked at a lead plant and then as a bricklayer before founding Ittner Bros. with his brother Conrad in 1859.[1] William Ittner's father (later a U.S. Congressman) helped establish the trade school from which his son graduated in 1884 "with the first class granted diplomas by Washington University's Manual Training School."[1] He also graduated with a degree in architecture from Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, traveled in Europe and married Lottie Crane Allen in St. Louis. He worked in the office of Eames & Young between 1889 and 1891, then practiced alone "before entering brief partnerships, first with William Foster and then with T. C. Link and Alfred Rosenheim."[1]

He was elected to the new office of Commissioner of School Buildings for the School Board of St. Louis in 1897 and remained in the position until he resigned in 1910.[1] He continued as "consulting architect" to the Board until October 1914.[1] His first school design was Eliot School (1898–99) and his last was Bryan Mullanphy (1914–15).[1]

R.A. Long High School
Front entrance to McClain High School

He is credited with the design of over 430 schools nationwide and has over 35 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.[3][5] E shaped schools were said to be his trademark.[3]

Architectural InnovationsEdit

Many of the architectural planning and designs seen in schools today were developed by Ittner.[7] Some examples include:

  1. Integrated ventilation: Ittner designed chases to be placed behind lockers, which allowed air from inside the school to exit through chimneys.
  2. Natural lighting: Ittner integrated large windows, skylights, and lightwells in order to introduce light inside school buildings.
  3. Standardized plans: Ittner constructed plans that would effectively connect the specialized places of the school into one, cohesive unit. These plans included the H-Plan, I-Plan, and L-Plan.
  4. The Community School Concept: Ittner used site planning concepts to allowed school resources to be available to residents in the surrounding areas.



  • 6034 West Cabanne Place, St. Louis, Missouri (1891)[1]
  • 2137–39 California Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri (1893)[1]
  • 3439 Longfellow, St. Louis, Missouri (1893) [1]
  • 3013 Hawthorne, St. Louis, Missouri (1894) [1]
  • 3435 Hawthorne, St. Louis, Missouri (1895)[1]


Cardozo Senior High School in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Former Morton High School building, Richmond, Indiana featuring a Pewabic Pottery frieze.

Other buildingsEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Carolyn Hewes Toft William B. Ittner, FAIA (1864–1936) Landmarks Association of St. Louis
  2. ^ William B. Ittner at archINFORM
  3. ^ a b c d e f Educational architecture in Ohio: from one-room schools and Carnegie ... By Virginia Evans McCormick page 107
  4. ^ St. Louis Walk of Fame. "St. Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". stlouiswalkoffame.org. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f [1] 09-04-1864 6661 Delmar inducted 10-04-2008 St Louis Walk of Fame
  6. ^ a b "Landmarks Association of St. Louis :: Architects :: William B. Ittner, FAIA (1864-1936)". www.landmarks-stl.org. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  7. ^ "History| Ittner Architects | Experts in Education". ittner. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  8. ^ Collins, Cameron (2012-09-05). "The St. Louis Schools of William B. Ittner". NEXTSTL. Retrieved 2020-11-03.
  9. ^ "Nipher Middle School: Our History". Kirkwoodschools.org. Kirkwood School District. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  10. ^ "Keysor Elementary School: Our History". Kirkwoodschools.org. Kirkwood School District. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Robinson Elementary School: Our History". Kirkwoodschools.org. Kirkwood School District. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  12. ^ "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved 2019-03-07. Note: This includes Gregg Abell (December 2010). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Theodore Roosevelt High School" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-03-07. and Accompanying photographs.
  13. ^ "Phelps School, Springfield, Mo". Retrieved 4 February 2018.

External linksEdit