Karl B. Lohmann

Karl B. Lohmann

Karl Lohmann was a professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois from 1921 to 1955. During his time at the University, Lohmann helped distinguish the department of Landscape Architecture as its own entity.

Professional Life

In 1933, he taught what is believed to be one of the first Regional Planning courses in the country, educating future planners on the development of large areas of land and organization of communities. Other distinctions at the university include serving as department head from 1954 until his retirement, as well as leading the Fine Arts’ Bureau of Community Planning, beginning in 1934.

Lohmann also filled a variety of roles in the Urbana community, where he lived out most of his life. As of 1952, he was an active member of the Urbana Exchange Club, an elected Commissioner of the Urbana Park District, and a trustee of the Unitarian Church. He also was a leader of a restoration team whose mission was the beautification of the Boneyard.  

Beyond Urbana, Lohmann was credited for assisting other prolific planners in developing other American University plans, such as Rutgers University.  

11 men posing
City Planning and Landscape Architecture Department. Karl Lohmann is front center row

Personal Life

Lohmann was described by peers and students as an avid movie and music fan. He enjoyed traveling the United States and was fond of photographing the places he visited, such as Philadelphia and Southern California.

Lohmann was an active regional planner before his permanent position at the university. A Pennsylvania native, Lohmann attend Pennsylvania State for his undergraduate degree in Horticulture in 1910. He then went on to receive his graduate degree at Harvard University in Landscape Architecture and City Planning. In 1914, Lohmann returned to the coal regions of northeastern Pennsylvania in order to beautify and enhance the area with playgrounds and public parks.      

Lohmann was born in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania in 1887. He was married to Jane Richardson England and had two children. His daughter graduated from the University of Illinois.  Lohmann died in Urbana, Illinois in 1963 at the age of 75. The Cultural Landscape Foundation recognizes Lohmann as one of their pioneers, and states that the Urbana Park District has dedicated one of their parks in his memory.   

  • Boneyard Creek. Where Lohmann helped lead a beautification project
  • Mumford Hall. Where a majority of his courses were taught


Author Unknown. (1938). Biographical notations at the request of G. R. Beam of the Illini. Record Series 12/4/20, Box 4, Folder Lohmann, Karl B., Biographical, Activities, Professional, 1938-54. University of Illinois Archives.  

Author Unknown. (1952). Record of General Activities. Record Series 12/4/20, Box 4, Folder Lohmann, Karl B., Biographical, Activities, Professional, 1938-54. University of Illinois Archives.  

Deming, M. E. Pioneer Information. Retrieved on April 10th, 2019 from The Cultural Landscape Foundation: https://tclf.org/pioneer/karl-lohmann

Karl B. Lohmann. (n.d.). Record Series 8/1/18 Box 1.  University of Illinois Archives. (Image)

Department of City Planning and Landscape Architecture. (1955).  Record Series 12/4/20, Box 13, Folder Landscape Architecture and City Planning Department Photographs, 1950, 1955. University of Illinois Archives. (Image)

Contributors: Gabrielle Marback-Pehler