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Architect William B. Ittner

William Butts Ittner (9/4/1864-3/2/1936) Saint Louis, Missouri (F.A.I.A)

A nationally noted figure in the field of school architecture, and head of the firm of William B. Ittner, Inc. In Saint Louis, where Mr. Ittner was born and educated, he graduated at the age of nineteen at the Manual Training School, Washington University, and subsequently entered Cornell University with the class of 1887 as a special student in architecture. A later period of travel and study in Europe enriched his architectural training, and Ittner returned to Saint Louis in 1888 to begin his career in the office of Eames & Young. In less than a year he left to establish his own office, and continued private practice until 1897 when he was appointed Commissioner of School Buildings for Saint Louis. After serving in the capacity until 1910, he was promoted to the position of Architect of the Board of Education, and during the next six years has charge of designing all the public schools in the city, among which were the McKinley, Soldan, Yeatman, Summer, and Cleveland High Schools, and the Harris Teachers' College. The total number of his buildings is said to exceed five hundred, built in 115 communities in twenty-nine states.

Ittner's school architecture in which beauty of design was combined with plan efficiency, brought him wide renown. Among the most important projects completed under his direction were the Central High School at Washington D.C, costing over a million dollars: in St. Louis five High Schools, seventy-five Elementary and six special schools built at a total cost of fifteen million; High School and three Elementary schools at Universal CIty, Missouri, College Hall and Domestic Arts Building at Lincoln University, Jefferson City, two High Schools and thirteen Elementary Schools at Kirkwoodd, Missouri; the Central Technical High School at Columbus, Ohio, costing over a million; at Gary, Indiana, in 1915, the Emerson, Froebel, and Horace Mann Schools, the Roosevelt, 1929, and Lew Wallace, 1930, costing over two million; Greenfield, Ohio, Edward Lee McLain High, Vocational Building, City Elementary, 1923, later High School addition; Long View, Washington, Robert A. Long Senior and Junior High, 1927; Minneapolis, Minnesota, Central High, two Elementary School additions' Nashville, Tennessee, Hume-Fogg High; Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Senior High; Dallas, Texas, three High Schools and twelve Elementary; Lawrence, Kansas, Liberty Memorial High and Woodlawn Elementary; Granite City, Illinois, Community High School; Waterloo, Iowa, West Side High School.

In addition, Ittner served as Consulting Architect on a fifteen million dollar school program at Buffalo, New York, on another large school project at Niagara Falls, and others at Birmingham, Alabama, Knoxville Tennessee, and St. Petersburg, Florida. He was also Associate Architect of the Warren Harding High School at Bridgeport, Connecticut, and school programs in a number of other cities.

Though educational buildings comprised a large volume of Ittner's work, he was architect for several outstanding public and commercial structures in Saint Louis, notably the following: Missouri Athletic Association Building, 1916, costing two million; Shriners' Hospital for Crippled Children, 1922; Neighborhood Association Settlement House; Civil Courts Building (a collaboration), 1927. One of his late works was the new State Reformatory at Algoa, Missouri, 1930.

Ittner was a member for many years and President during two terms of the St. Louis Chapter, A.I.A., and later in his career was presented a medal in recognition of his achievements in school architecture. Elected to Institute Fellowship in 1891, he served on the Board of Directors and in other official positions.