William Wesley Peters



12 June 1912(Birth)

17 July 1991(Death)


William Wesley Peters was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, and educated at Evansville College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Peters was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first apprentice, beginning in 1932, and spent most of the remainder of his career serving as Wright’s structural engineer and project architect. He worked on many of Wright’s most notable designs including the Guggenheim Museum, the Johnson Wax Administration building and research tower, and Fallingwater. Following Wright’s death in 1959, Peters succeeded him as chairman of Taliesin Associates Architects and he later became chair of the Wright Foundation. Peters was registered to practice in all fifty states and designed many works including several schools, hotels, churches, banks, shops and residences. He also taught at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and lectured and wrote about Wright’s work and contemporary architecture. Peters first married Wright’s stepdaughter Svetlana, who died tragically in an automobile accident in 1946. Later in 1972 he was married for a brief period to Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of Joseph Stalin, who had defected from the Soviet Union. William Wesley Peters died in 1991 at the age of 79.

Biography courtesy of Michigan Modern

Work credited to Peters while working with Frank Lloyd Wright include: assisting in the construction of Fallingwater and the Johnson Wax administration building and the structural designs of the Guggenheim Museum and the laboratory tower at Johnson Wax, among many other projects. Peters and Taliesin Associates are credited with the design for the Kaden Tower in Louisville, Kentucky the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose, California, and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, Florida. Peters also designed the Pearl Palace in Iran.

"William Wesley Peters Dies at 79; A Devotee of Frank Lloyd Wright," The New York Times, July 18, 1991.


William Wesley Peters's Sites