Aehle, Norman G.
Seattle architect Norman George “Bud” Aehle was born in Chicago on July 21, 1923. Drafted during WWII, Aehle served in the Air Force, rising to the rank of Second Lieutenant. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, he graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture in 1951. Like many returning GIs in the architecture program, Aehle was awarded his State architectural license (No. 538, July 6, 1950) before graduation.
By 1958 Aehle had become a partner in the firm of Bryant, Butterfield & Aehle (1958-60) in Everett. For reasons unknown, in 1960 he left the firm and established a new partnership with architect Maurice Sullam in Seattle. Together the firm of Sullam & Aehle (1960-69) made a profound impact on the built environment of the Puget Sound Region.
Their practice principally focused on the design of educational facilities and projects can be found throughout the state. Notable designs include: Auburn High School Addition (1961); Tukwila Elementary School (1963); Showalter Jr. High School Physical Education Center (1964) in Seattle; Eagleson Hall Addition, UW (1965); Youngs Elementary School (1965) in Kent; Kent School District Admin Building (1966); Pine Tree Elementary School (1967) in Kent; Lake Forest Park Elementary School (1967); Cascade Jr. High School (1968) in Auburn; Northeast Elementary School (1968) in Shoreline; Spirit Ridge Elementary School (1969) in Bellevue; South Auburn Elementary School (1969) in Auburn; Prospect Point Elementary School (1970) in Walla Walla; the master plan and several buildings at Green River Community College (1970) in Auburn; Albert Einstein Junior High School (1970) in Seattle; College Place Junior High School (1970) in Edmonds; several projects at Peninsula College (1972) in Port Angeles; and Edison Hall Study, CWU (1985) in Ellensburg.
Other projects of note include the Broadway branch of Seattle First National Bank (1967); Olympic View Medical-Dental Clinic (1965); plan for grand lodge for the Elks Club No. 92 on the shore of Lake Union (1960); Lake City Elks Lodge (1965); Wyckoff Station of the Bremerton Post Office (1960); Tillicum Village (1961 with John Rohrer); Venable & Wing Law Office (1962); and the Interfaith Chapel at the State Prison in Monroe (1968).
In 1975 Allen D. Thurman became a partner and the firm was renamed: Aehle & Thurman (1975-1977). Then in 1978 the firm merged with the Larry deMers & Co. from Wenatchee and renamed again to Aehle, Thurman & deMers, Inc.
Aehle was an active member of the Seattle Chapter of the AIA and the Construction Specifications Institute (serving as President, 1967). He also was a member of the Council of Educational Facility Planners Institute, and the National Council of Architectural Review Boards.
Aehle retired in 1980 to enjoy extensive travels in the U.S. and abroad. He passed away on August 31, 2011 in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Upon his death, a fund was established in Aehle’s honor at the University of Washington College of Built Environments to motivate students to finish their degree.
- Michael C. Houser