(Mar. 20, 1828-Jan. 16, 1899). Stonecutter, builder, and stone contractor, Gerhard Ittenbach was born in Koenigswinter, Germany. He learned his trade in nearby Cologne, at the great cathedral then nearing completion.

Ittenbach's stonework, seen on the Romanesque Revival architecture of Roberts Park Methodist Church, ca. 1950s
© Digital Image 2019 Indiana Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Ittenbach left Germany in the revolutionary year 1848, arriving in New York City, then working in Philadelphia, Wheeling, Cincinnati, and Madison, Indiana. He arrived in Indianapolis in 1851 and worked on the school for the deaf as an employee of James Muerson. He bought out Muerson in 1860 and formed a partnership with J. C. Schmid. After Schmid’s retirement in 1869, the firm was named G. Ittenbach & Company and became one of Indiana’s largest and most active stone yards. Ittenbach retired in 1892. His sons, Frank, John, and Gerhard, continued the business. The stone yard, on the city’s southside, continued as a family business until its demise in the mid-1950s.

Ittenbach and his firm were responsible for the stonework of numerous landmarks including the Bates House Hotel, the Indiana School For The Blind, and Indiana National Bank (all demolished), the John W. Schmidt house (the Propylaeum), the Athenaeum, Roberts Park Methodist Church, St. Mary Catholic Church (both the original and the present), and St. Mary-of-the-Woods Convent and College near Terre Haute.

Gerhard Ittenbach's stonework, seen at the Indiana School for the Deaf's original location at Willard Park in 1850.
© Digital Image 2016 Indiana Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.
Ittenbach created the stonework for the 19th-century Victorian-style Bates House luxury hotel in 1853.
© Digital image 2004 Indiana Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.
Revised February 2021

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