Norman G. Aehle

Aehle, Norman G.

(1923 – 2011)

Seattle architect Norman George “Bud” Aehle was born in Chicago on July 21, 1923. Drafted during World War II, 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 Everett firm of Bryant, Butterfield & Aehle (1958-1960). However, in 1960 he decided to leave the firm and established a new partnership with architect Maurice Sullam. The firm of Sullam & Aehle (1960-1969), based in Seattle, focused principally on the design of educational facilities and projects can be found throughout the state of Washington. 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 at the University of Washington (1965), Youngs Elementary School (1965) in Kent, Kent School District Administration 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, Albert Einstein Junior High School (1970) in Seattle, College Place Junior High School (1970) in Edmonds, the master plan and several buildings at Green River Community College (1970) in Auburn, several projects at Peninsula College (1972) in Port Angeles, and Edison Hall Study, Central Washington University (1985) in Ellensburg.

Other projects include the Broadway branch of Seattle First National Bank (1967), Olympic View Medical-Dental Clinic (1965), a 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 on Blake Island (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 its President, 1967), and was a member of the Council of Educational Facility Planners Institute, and the National Council of Architectural Review Boards (NCARB).  Aehle retired in 1980 to enjoy extensive travels in the U.S. and abroad. He died 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’s College of Built Environments.

– Michael C Houser

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