Written by Tina Connor, Executive Vice President, Indiana Landmarks
A c. 1935 photo shows Wright’s influence in the design of Peters-Margedant House by William Wesley (Wes) Peters.
Most people know of Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous and influential American architect. Wes Peters (1912-1991), his right-hand man? Not so much.
Wright’s first Taliesin apprentice in 1932, Peters took a two-year break from the architect and returned to his hometown of Evansville, Indiana, from mid-1933 to 1935. Love caused the flight: Peters fell in love with Wright’s stepdaughter Svetlana, then a teenager, and her parents mightily disapproved.
Two years later, the Wrights relented. Peters and Svetlana married and returned to Taliesin, where Peters remained for the rest of his life, becoming chief architect after the master’s death in 1959 and retaining the title until his own death in 1991.
Though he would never claim credit as first, the humble apprentice designed the Usonian-style Peters-Margedant House in Evansville in 1935, two years before Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Usonian appeared in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1937. The Evansville house shows that Peters internalized Frank Lloyd Wright’s philosophy of organic architecture and his thoughts on creating affordable homes. Art historian Richard Guy Wilson believes the tiny house possesses national significance.... Read More →
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