John Ludwig Wees (1861-1942)


Wees, John Ludwig

Personal Information

Birth/Death:    1861-1942
Occupation:    American architect
Location:    St. Louis, MO; Paris, TX

This record has not been verified for accuracy.

AIA Affiliation

Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1894-1899
Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) 1894

Biographical Sources

Biographical information:
Contributed by the Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas:
John Ludwig Wees (1861-1942) was a German-born architect who practiced architecture in St. Louis, Missouri and Paris, Texas.
Born in southern Germany, Wees made up his mind to be an architect or artist at an early age. After finishing high school he started studying his chosen trade in Paris, France, when only 18 years old. At the conclusion of his first year of study in Paris, Wees came to the United States.
His first job in this country was in a sewing machine factory in Bridgeport, Connecticut. While working at the factory he attended art school at night. Seeing some of his work, a friend got him a job with an architecture firm in Bridgeport; Wees was subsequently transferred to the firm's New York office.
Wees soon tired of New York and quit his job to journey to St. Louis and stay with a friend. Luck was with him as he landed a job as an architect in St. Louis the day after he arrived from New York. After working for the firm for four years he was promoted to the office of head-draftsman, and four years later promoted to partner. A couple of years later his partner retired and Wees was made head of the firm.
Wees moved to Paris, Texas from St. Louis in 1916 to help rebuild the city after a big fire.

Related Records

Archival Holdings

The American Institute of Architects Archives
      Membership file may contain membership-related correspondence, although there are few written records concerning 19th-century members. Contact the AIA Archives at archives@aia.org for further information.
Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas
J. L. Wees Drawings and manuscript material, Paris, Texas, 1909-1983
Reports, an interview, abstracts, specifications and newspaper clippings (together measuring.25 linear feet), and 118 drawings provide information about buildings that architect J. L. Wees designed for Rufus F. Scott in Paris, Texas. The specifications are original, dating from 1909-1911. The other documents give historical background about Rufus F. Scott, the person, as well as descriptions of the residence. They date from 1938 through 1983.
This material is possibly the only original work left from J. L. Wees' practice. According to Julius Hunter's book, Westmoreland and Portland Places, "after Wees' death his original linen drawings `were washed until white and suitable for making pillowcases,' a grandson... recalled."
For more information https://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/locations/alexander-architectural-archives