(Aug. 8, 1855-Aug. 7, 1908). The second son of Indianapolis merchant Clemens Vonnegut and his wife Katrina, Bernard Vonnegut attended various German American schools and graduated from Indianapolis High School (later shortridge high school). After a short career as a stone carver, he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed advanced work in architecture at the Polytechnic Institute in Hanover, Germany.

In 1888, Vonnegut established an architectural partnership in Indianapolis with a fellow German-American, Arthur Bohn. Their firm, Vonnegut And Bohn, designed such well-known city structures as the L. S. Ayres And Company Building, Das Deutsche Haus (Athenaeum), John Herron Art Institute, Shortridge High School, and the Hotel Severin. The firm also designed the Student Union Building at Indiana University, Bloomington, Eliza Fowler Hall at Purdue University, and the Federal Building in Vincennes, Indiana.

Vonnegut was a member of the Architectural League of New York. He joined when he worked for noted architect George B. Post (1837-1913), known as a master of modern architecture and instrumental in the birth of the skyscraper. He also was a member of the American Institute of Architects. In support of their ethnic community, Vonnegut and Bohn taught descriptive geometry classes at the German-American School operated by the Indianapolis german-english school society.

Revised March 2021

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