Donald Bittorf was born in Edmonton on August 13, 1926. In 1954, Bittorf graduated with a Bachelor’s of Architecture from the University of Washington. He continued his studies at the Harvard School of Design, graduating with a Master’s of Architecture in 1955. At this time, the Harvard School of Design was still influenced by leading Modernist architects, including Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer.
Bittorf returned to Edmonton and began his professional career with Dewar Stevenson Stanley. In 1959, the Winnipeg architectural firm Green Blankstein Russell (GBR) officially opened their Edmonton office and Bittorf, who had been associated GBR since 1956, was appointed as a resident partner. Bittorf was on the GBR team that worked on the winning design for the Winnipeg City Hall Competition. In 1964, Bittorf partnered with James B Wensley to form Bittorf Wensley Architects. During this time, Bittorf also served as Director on the GBR executive.
Bittorf was a member of the Alberta Association of Architects, a member of the Harvard Graduate School of Design Association, and served on the Architectural Advisory Panel of the City of Edmonton. Bittorf passed away December 4, 2008.