Wm. B. Ittner revolutionized school planning across the nation beginning in 1899.  Throughout each decade Ittner developed innovations in planning and building design that led to the creation of today’s schools with design features that are imitated today.   Ittner was responsible for many important innovations.   The following are a few examples:

  • Integrated Ventilation that improved the health of learning environments. Chases were designed behind lockers in both corridors and locker rooms, pulling air through the school and out through chimneys. Today, building codes have progressed to ensure the proper amount of fresh air is introduced into schools.

  • Natural Light was maximized using large windows, skylights, and lightwells that were combined with monumental stairs introducing light into the center of the building. Today, the use of natural light has progressed into designing spaces using daylight harvesting.

  • Standardized Plans were developed that efficiently connected all the specialized spaces of the school into the desired culture for learning.  These included the H-Plan, I-Plan, and the L-Plan.

  • The Community School Concept was developed using site planning concepts that made resources available to residents of the surrounding area. The school’s plan was zoned to allow for specialized areas to be available for after-hours use. 

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314.421.3542 | St. Louis, Missouri | 618.624.2080 | Fairview Heights, Illinois  

William B. Ittner

Ittner designed over fifty schools in St. Louis over the years. At the same time, he built a national reputation. Architects, educators, and tourists from around the country traveled to St. Louis to see his designs in person. Thus, he began designing schools for other cities around the country. As a result, he is credited with the design of over 500 schools nationwide before his death in 1936.