Architectural historian to give talk on Oct. 3 about D.A. Bohlen designs

The Indianapolis firm’s legacy includes some of Indiana’s most beloved landmarks

If you were to compile a greatest hits of Indiana architecture, chances are good you’d find several buildings designed by a member of the Bohlen family. Four generations of Bohlens (from 1853 to 1968) left their mark on Indiana. D.A. Bohlen and Son architecture firm designed Indianapolis City Market, Shelby County Courthouse, Indianapolis’s Murat Temple, Indiana Landmarks’ Morris-Butler House, and most of the buildings for the Sisters of Providence and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College near Terre Haute.

Architectural historian James Glass will highlight the firm’s work in Indiana in his illustrated talk, “D.A. Bohlen and Son: Influential Architecture in Indianapolis and at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Historic District,” on Oct. 3 at Indiana Landmarks Center, 1201 Central Ave. The free presentation begins at 6 p.m.

Diedrich A. Bohlen moved to the United States in 1851 from Germany, founding his architectural firm in Indianapolis by 1853. Bohlen’s son, Oscar D. Bohlen joined the practice in 1882, and the firm’s name was changed to D.A. Bohlen & Son firm. It continued to design landmark buildings, including the Majestic Building in Indianapolis and the French Lick Springs Hotel. The business expanded over time, eventually becoming Bohlen, Meyer, Gibson & Associates, still in operation today.

The Sisters of Providence and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College used a Historic Preservation Education Grant from Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Humanities to hire Glass to research the Bohlens. Glass will share insights gained from combing architectural archives and historic newspapers and show historic illustrations and photos of buildings still in use and others that have been lost.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., along with refreshments and a cash bar. The talk is free with R.S.V.P. online at, or by calling 317-639-4534.

For those who want to learn even more about the Bohlen’s work and tour some of its designs, Glass will give a second talk on Oct. 20 at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Historic District highlighting Bohlen-designed buildings at the liberal arts college. Following the talk, volunteers will conduct a tour of five landmarks, tracing the firm’s work from the 1894 Woodland Inn to the 1964 Rooney Library. Learn more at Architectural historian James Glass presents an illustrated talk highlighting the work of D.A. Bohlen and Son in Indianapolis and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Historic District near Terre Haute.

WHEN: 6 p.m., Oct. 3 (doors open at 5:30 p.m.)

WHERE: Cook Theater, Indiana Landmarks Center, 1201 Central Ave., Indianapolis

COST: Free event

TICKETS: or by calling 317-639-4534.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mindi Woolman, Communications Manager, Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534, 317-417-1204 (cell),

Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit

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