Gordon Lee Wildermuth was born in 1937 in Lima, Ohio on a farm. Living close to the land as a youth is a way of life that has had a life-long influence on him. In 1961 Gordon graduated from the University of Cincinnati where he studied architecture after which he served with the Special Forces of the United States Army until 1962. Through luck and circumstances Wildermuth was hired as a designer in 1963 by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; after four years he advanced to project manager, a position for which he felt he was better suited. His first assignment as a project manager was in South America, the first of many international jobs. Gordon's international work is located in places as diverse as the U.K., Saudi Arabia, and Hong Kong. He takes great pride in his work in Saudi Arabia: the Haj Terminal, King Abdul Aziz Airport and the National Commercial Bank, both in Jeddah, and both award-winning projects. He retired in 1988 only to be called back by SOM in 1990 to reorganize the Chicago office. Gordon was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1985. In 1993 he retired for the second and last time, and now divides his time between his farm in Pennsylvania, Chicago, Germany and traveling to far-flung places in the world.
Wildermuth speaks about his early years on the family farm and its life-long influence on him; why he entered the University of Cincinnati; how he came to be hired by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; other architects who Wildermuth worked with; internal workings of the SOM partnership; Fazlur Khan; social concerns; international work; two exceptional projects in Saudi Arabia; retiring twice.
King Abdul Aziz International Airport - Hajj Terminal, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1981 Photo by Jay Langlois Copyright, Jay Langlois/Owens-Corning Fiberglass; Courtesy, SOM
McCormick Place - Phase 2 - Exposition Center Expansion North Building, Chicago, IL, 1986 Photo by Hedrich-Blessing; Copyright, Hedrich-Blessing; Courtesy, SOM
"So, when I came to Chicago, the big shock in doing work, number one, was how you people in Chicago are so involved with your city government, or the city government's involved with you. In New York, in those days, most people, I mean the mayor, he really wasn't involved too much. Here, the mayor and your, what are they called? The aldermen are incredibly powerful people and very influential. Well, starting to get involved in McCormick Place and the World's Fair. Also, a major difference is, I find Chicago, as a Midwesterner, this is shocking, you always think that Midwesterners are far more easy-going and practical than those eastern people. But I came here thinking that things would be simpler. They actually were more complex. I feel it's a much more litigious environment in construction here than in New York but that's just my reaction." (pp. 182-83)
35 min 40 sec ago The Art Institute of Chicago Mary Cassatt was the only American artist to exhibit with the original Impressionist group. This sensitive portrayal of a mother and child reflects the most advanced 19th-century ideas about raising children. Scientists and physicians of the day encouraged mothers (instead of wet nurses and nannies) to care for their children and to include regular bathing in their hygiene practices to prevent disease. #5WomenArtists
See three paintings by Mary Cassatt now on view: http://bit.ly/2nl9Z68
Image: [Now on view in Gallery 273] Mary Cassatt. The Child's Bath, 1893. Robert A. Waller Fund.
4 hours 40 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago APRIL 21—Join us for After Dark in the Modern Wing!
Check out the new exhibition Go with special tours and late-night access. And catch live performances by Monakr and Mano.
Must be 21+. Hosted by The Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago.