Interviewed by Sally Hauser, Joan Brown, et al. September 25, 1987
William Wesley Peters joined the Taliesin Fellowship as a charter member in 1932 and spent most of his life there. When he married Wright's adopted daughter, Svetlana, he became not only Wright's son-in-law, but also one of his most trusted associates. Trained in engineering at MIT, he was structural engineer for many of Wright's most important achievements, including the Johnson Wax Administration Building, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Edgar Kaufmann house known as "Fallingwater".
On Wright's death in 1959, Peters became Chief Architect for Taliesin Architects as well as for the Marin County Civic Center for which Wright had completed all of the preliminary drawings. It was the team of W. Wesley Peters and Aaron Green that oversaw the construction of the Administration Building and Hall of Justice and ensured their execution to the highest standard. Peters was a registered architect in all fifty states and held three honorary doctoral degrees. He designed over 120 projects throughout his fifty-year career, including: Damavand College in Iran; Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater Florida; and the Taliesin West Visitors' Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mr. Peters died in Madison, Wisconsin on July 17, 1991, at the age of 79.
To read the transcript and listen to the full audio recording of this interview, click here.
In the following excerpts, W. Wesley Peters talks about Wright's design for the Marin County Civic Center and how Wright responded to reports that his buildings leaked.
Above: W. Wesley Peters at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Marin County Civic Center, 1987