Architect Adolph Scherrer (August 30, 1847 – February 13,1925)
Designed Crown Hill’s Waiting Station & Gothic Gates (1885)
Adolph Scherrer was born in St. Gaul, Switzerland, with Swiss-German roots, and studied in Vienna and Budapest before making his way to New York City in 1870. He worked in Chicago for two years and then moved to Indianapolis in 1873 to take a position as draftsman for Edwin May.
It was May who received what would ultimately become Scherrer’s greatest commission, the building of a new State Capitol building. With May’s untimely death in 1880, early in the process of its design, the responsibility fell upon the shoulders of his chief draftsman, and Scherrer proved very capable, finishing a design that used the nation’s capitol for its inspiration and supervising the construction through its completion in 1888, all within the budgeted amount of two million dollars.
Though certainly his most prominent legacy, his reputation does not rest solely upon this chance opportunity. Crown Hill’s Waiting Station and the Gothic Entrance at 34th Street (1885), are among his other designs, as are the Old Pathology Building (1896) now the home of the Indiana Medical History Museum; The Turnverein Building (1913), now upscale apartments at 902 North Meridian; the Southside Turnverein (1905) at 306 Prospect, whose façade is graced with statues by Rudolph Schwarz; and a residence at 4375 North Meridian (1911) whose design was influenced by Franklin Lloyd Wright’s Prairie School of Architecture. The Maennerchor Building (1906), formerly at 502 North Illinois Street, one of the city’s leading concert venues for many years, and the original City Hospital buliding (1875) are among those buildings Scherrer designed that have not survived.
Scherrer eventually formed a partnership with his two sons, Anton and Herman. They carried on after a stroke in 1919 left him unable to work. Inspired by the Spanish Renaissance, St. Patrick’s Parish (1929) at 950 Prospect is an example of their work.
Burial Location: Section 53, Lot 201; GPS (39.8163282,-86.1751036)