Prominent local architect Woollen dies at 88

Evans Woollen III, an architect who designed many of the city’s most distinctive buildings, has died at age 88.

Woollen died Tuesday, his family said in a Facebook post.

From the mid-1950s to the 2000s, Woollen and his architectural firm designed dozens of notable residential, public and commercial buildings, including Clowes Memorial  Hall at Butler University (1963), the Minton Capehart Federal Building on North Pennsylvania Street (1976), Barton Tower on Massachusetts Avenue (1968) and the addition to the Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library (2007).

Woollen is often credited for bringing the modernism movement and Brutalist architecture to Indianapolis.
His firm, Woollen Molzan and Partners Inc., was in business for 56 years, closing in 2011. Despite its small size, it was regarded as one of the more prominent architectural firms in the city.

The firm also designed several of the area’s churches, including St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church and St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

Woollen came from a prominent Indianapolis family that settled in the area in the 1840s. His father and grandfather were both well-known bankers who ran Fletcher National Bank. He studied architecture at Yale University under Philip Johnson, considered to be one of the great modernist architects.   

Woollen’s prominent works also included:

— the entrance hall at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis (1989)

— the White River Gardens Conservatory Complex at the Indianapolis Zoo (1999).

— New Harmony Inn in New Harmony (1974)

— Indiana University Musical Arts Center in Bloomington (1972).


Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.