Winnipeg Architecture Foundation



Donald Bittorf


Donald Bittorf was born in Edmonton on August 13, 1926. In 1954, Bittorf graduated with a Bachelor 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 that 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 its Edmonton office and Bittorf, who had been associated with 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.

Recognition & Awards

  • Phi Beta Kappa National Scholastic Honorary
  • Tau Sigma Delta National Architectural Honorary
  • Alberta Association of Architects Design Award for the Edmonton Art Gallery
  • City of Edmonton Design Award for the Zolf Residence
  • City of Edmonton Design Award for the 112 Ave Rapid Transit Station
  • City of Edmonton Design Award for the Dickensfield Extended Care Hospital


  • University of Calgary Archives and Special Collections, Donald Bittorf fonds, 1956-1975,
  • “Donald Bittorf Obituary,” The Edmonton Journal, 12/13/2008
  • GBR Newsletter, Volume 1 Issue 1, January 1959