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Alfredo Wiechers Pieretti

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Alfredo Wiechers Pieretti

This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Wiechers and the second or maternal family name is Pieretti.
Alfredo Wiechers Pieretti
Born 26 March 1881
Ponce, Puerto Rico
Died 1964
Barcelona, Spain
Nationality Puerto Rican
Occupation Architect
Spouse(s) Carmen Gilet[1][2]

Alfredo Wiechers Pieretti was a Puerto Rican architect from Ponce, Puerto Rico. He was an expositor of the Neoclassicism and Art Nouveau architectural styles, doing most of his work in his hometown of Ponce. Today, Alfredo Wiechers' city residence, located in the Ponce Historic Zone and which he designed himself, is home to the Puerto Rico Museum of Architecture. After enriching his hometown city with some of the most architecturally exquisite buildings, he moved to Spain claiming political persecution by the authorities in the Island.

Early years

Alfredo Braulio Wiechers Pieretti[3] was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, on March 26, 1881.[4] He was the youngest of five children born to the German Georg Friederich Wiechers Kelm and Isabel Pieretti Marsaud, a Ponceña woman of Corsican ancestry.[5][6] Alfredo's father was a businessman from Hamburg, Germany who settled in Ponce around 1860 and in 1865 he was named Prussia's consul for Ponce. He was re-appointed in 1872 and 1874, at a time when Ponce was the capital of the southern region of Puerto Rico (San Juan was the capital of the northern region).[7][8]

Training

Upon the death of his father in Ponce, Wiechers Pieretti, still an adolescent, came to be under the guardianship of Juan Lacot, the husband of Rosa Wiechers Pieretti, Alfredo's oldest sister. A short while later they moved to Barcelona, and Alfredo started studies in Paris at the École Spéciale d'Architecture. In 1901, he obtained a gold medal for outstanding achievement and excellence during his professional studies. He graduated in 1905 and worked at the office of Enric Sagnier, a famous Spanish architect, in Barcelona, Spain.[9] He lived in Barcelona for six years while working at Enric's distinguished studio.[10]

In 1908 Wiechers Pieretti married Ponce-born Carmen Gilet in Barcelona, and in 1910 he returned to Puerto Rico, settling in Ponce.[11]

His residence

Alfredo Wiechers returned to Ponce in 1910 and, within two years, he built what is known today as the Wiechers-Villaronga Residence. He built it as his own residence and studio. He later sold the pompous home to Mr. Gabriel Villaronga.[12] In a short period of time, from 1911 to 1918, Wiechers was commissioned with various important buildings such as: the Logia Aurora, Club Deportivo de Damas, the Havana Theater, Banco of Ponce Building, and Santo Asilo de Damas Hospital among others, where he fully expressed the European Neo-Classical style which he had learned from Enric Sagnier.[13] Alfredo Wiechers lived in his house for seven years.[14]

His works


After leaving his architectural mark on the city of Ponce (Casa Serralles, Oppenheimer House) he sold his house to the Villaronga family and fled in 1919 to Barcelona, under political pressure. Although his prolific works (1911–1918) include hotels, stores, mausoleums, and even factories, the majority of his work was done in Ponce—he ventured out of Ponce only to design two structures for wealthy Catalonian families in the neighboring mountain towns of Adjuntas and Aibonito.[15] His work in Puerto Rico includes the designs for Logia Adelphia, Don Eugenio Serralles Residence (Casa Serrallés), the Oppenheimer House, and the Blasini Residence. He also designed the Club Deportivo de Ponce (Ponce Sports Club), the Vendrell House, and homes for the Gelpí and Arce families.[16] Wiechers designed and built Casa Serrallés (not to be confused with Castillo Serrallés) in 1911. This comodious residence is located in downtown Ponce, at the southeast corner of Calle Isabel and Calle Salud and is currently home to the Museo de la Música Puertorriqueña. In 1911, Wiechers also designed the Mausoleo del Cuerpo de Bomberos of the City of Ponce (Mausoleum of the Corps of Firemen of the City of Ponce) located at the Cementerio Municipal de Ponce on Calle Cementerio Civil in barrio Canas Urbano.[17]

Later years and legacy

In 1918 Wiechers returned with his family to Spain, claiming political persecution by the authorities in Puerto Rico. After this, he never performed as an architect again for health reasons as well as not being on possession of a license to practice architecture. He died in 1964, and was interred at the Montjuïc Cemetery in Barcelona at the Mausoleum of the Gilet family.[18]

He is honored at Ponce's Park of the Illustrious Ponce Citizens. [19]

The Architecture and Construction Archives at the University of Puerto Rico (AACUPR) is the custodian of the Alfredo Wiecher Collection (1896–1986). Approximately two cubic feet in size, the collection contains architectural drawings, photographs, and publications. The Architectural Drawings Series contains 128 projects organized chronologically. The collection was transferred from the Puerto Rico Architects Association in 1998.

He designed Quinta Vendrell, Portugues Ward, jct. of PR 143 and PR 123, Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

See also

Puerto Rico portal

References

External links

The Alfredo Wiecher Collection electronic finding aid may be consulted through http://hip.upr.edu:85/ipac20/ipac.jsp?profile=aac--1#focus

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