Wesley Senn Wieting was born in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1910. He graduated with a degree in architecture from Armour Institute of Technology in Chicago in 1936. After serving in the United States Corps of Engineers during World War II, he joined the Chicago architectural firm of Perkins & Will in 1946. Wieting was the head of the firm's resource department at a time when the firm was growing and internal organization of materials was essential. He retired in 1975 after almost thirty years with Perkins & Will. Wieting died on March 16, 2007.
Wieting speaks about Perkins & Will; serving in the military; work on the Old Orchard Shopping Center project; Illinois State licensing; social awareness; interior design; the organization of records in an architectural office.
"Mr. [Phillip] Will liked to insist that everyone was a designer, because everybody who touched a project had some influence on the final appearance. He said, "I don't like hard lines between [the designer and the draftsman]. From a production standpoint, a designer was the one who works with a client in developing the statement of his needs and tries to put that down on paper and comes up with a concept and a solution that meets those needs. Then you need developmental designers--people who take that and carry it further into the working drawing stage--and, finally, you need a lot of people to draw the working drawings, which are really the set of instructions to the workmen to get the thing built." (p. 2)
Funding for this oral history was provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.