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Ludwig Abt


Ludwig Abt, Architect [1882-1967]

Dr. E. Sanborn Smith House, ca. 1925, 111 E. Patterson Street, Kirksville, MO.

Photo: Dr. E. Sanborn Smith House, ca. 1925, 111 E. Patterson Street, Kirksville, MO. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Photographed by user:Andrew.Belair, 2013, (own work) [cc-by-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed March, 2014.

Ludwig Abt [†] was a German-born and educated architect. He immigrated to the United States at the age of twenty and worked in a number of American cities in the construction industry, specifically as "a craftsman, estimator, superintendent and engineer." He returned briefly to Germany to study the use of reinforced concrete. When he returned to the United States, he went to Kansas City, where he worked with the practice of Sanneman and Van Trump for a year. Then in 1911, Abt and his wife moved to Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, a prosperous railroad hub for North Central Missouri, where he opened and maintained his own architectural office until 1952 when he entered into partnership with Moberly architect Jay Cleavinger.

Abt was a prolific designer and his work has already been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places — viz., the gymnasium/auditorium section of the Moberly Junior High School. Advertisements for his services read: "Ludwig Abt, Architect, Ideas Furnished." In view of the variety of structures he produced, there was a great demand for his versatile ideas. His houses, churches, schools, commercial buildings, hospitals, government offices, and depots constitute important parts of the built environment throughout the Northeast and North Central regions of Missouri. Because of the quantity, quality and range of his buildings, Abt's contribution to twentieth-century architecture in Missouri is considerable.

† Cole Woodcox, Truman State University, Dr. E. Sanborn Smith House, Adair County, MO, nomination document, 2008, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.


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