(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 Credit: City of Indianapolis, Department of Metropolitan Development, Indiana Historical Society View Source

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.

Revised February 2021

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