The High School was designed in 1925 by the prominent local architecture firm of T.J. Collins & Son in association with William Butts Ittner, FAIA of St. Louis. It is very likely that Samuel Collins, the son of T.J. Collins, is the person who actually oversaw the drafting of the plans for the building while the conceptual design was performed by Ittner’s firm.
William Butts Ittner, an architectural graduate from Cornell University worked with the celebrated firm of Eames & Young in St Louis. His family’s ownership of brick yards was no doubt influential in William’s selection of brickwork, plain and fancy, for many of his school buildings. Ittner became President of the St. Louis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects from 1893-95; in 1897, he was elected to the new office of Commissioner of School Buildings for the Board of Education and served in that position until his resignation in 1910 after which he continued as “consulting architect” to the Board until October of 1914. Ittner was invited by President Herbert Hoover to a White House Conference in 1926, the same year that he was elected Vice President of the St. Louis Plaza Commission. Ittner died in 1936 and his name is perpetuated by the architectural firm of the same name which is still in practice today.
During his lifetime Ittner became a notable authority on the designing and planning of schools. By 1917 he had become Chairman of the American Institute of Architects Committee on School Building. Ittner’s work was reviewed in several issues of the respected and influential The Architectural Record and The Western Architect. In such one article Guy Study makes it clear that Ittner was regarded as the American authority on school architecture: “In this development of the modern school no architect has played a more prominent part than William B. Ittner.” “And so general has his judgment been accepted as authoritative that the Ittner plan has become the accepted standard throughout the country.”