Oral Histories

Interview of Alvin Louis Wiehle

Fellow in the Taliesin Fellowship under Frank Lloyd Wright.
Alvin Louis Wiehle
Frank Lloyd Wright Oral History Program -Design Heritage Project
Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Design
Biographical Note:
Fellow in the Taliesin Fellowship under Frank Lloyd Wright.
Valentine, Maggie
Wiehle, Alvin Louis
Persons Present:
Wiehle and Valentine.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Maggie Valentine, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Texas at San Antonio; B.A., American History, California State University, Northridge; Ph.D., School of Architecture and Urban Planning, UCLA.
7 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This project is a cooperative, interdisciplinary, inter-institutional effort by the Oral History Program, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and Frank Lloyd Wright Archives, and is intended to preserve the recollections of selected former associates of Frank Lloyd Wright from 1932 to 1959. It is funded in part by a grant from the Design Arts Program of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Early interest in journalism and architecture; attends Columbia University; reading Frank Lloyd Wright's An Autobiography proves to be a life-altering event; applies to the Taliesin Fellowship; arrival at Taliesin West; first impression of Frank Lloyd Wright; relationship between the apprentices and Wright; Olgivanna Milanoff Wright; Wiehle designs his first building; travels to Mexico to avoid the draft; works for John Lautner; assisting with Wright exhibition in Mexico City, Sixty Years of Living Architecture; Wright's approach to design; Wright's degree of personal involvement in a project; his mastery of drawing and ability to envision three-dimensional space; the design of the Guggenheim Museum; Wiehle's decision not to return to Taliesin later in his career; critiquing at Taliesin; Mrs. Wright's involvement in the apprentices' personal lives; the formation of Taliesin Associated Architects; the contrast between Taliesin in Wisconsin and Taliesin West; changes at Taliesin and the fate of Wright's designs after his death; Wiehle's decision not to return to Taliesin later in his career; Wiehle's employment at William Pereira Associates in Los Angeles; contact with Taliesin after leaving; establishment of the Taliesin Fellows; value of Taliesin's communal structure; Taliesin at present and in the future.