Associated with the firms network

Ottenheimer, John U., Architect; Taliesin Associated Architects; Taliesin Fellowship

Professional History

Apprentice, Taliesin Fellowship, Spring Green, WI.


His father was Edward Joseph Ottenheimer (1898-1965), a physician born in Willamantic, CT; his mother Dorothy Underhill (1900-1968) was a descendant of Captain John Underhill (1597-1672), who migrated from Holland in 1630 to the Massachusetts Bay Colony with Puritan settlers. He was an important soldier and politician in early America, instrumental in the War with the Pequot Tribe in 1637. Dorothy was also related to the flyer Amelia Earhart (1897-c. 1937) and also shared a house while they both were students at Columbia University in 1919. Dorothy spent one year at Columbia on a pre-med track and later attended Wellesley College. She later attended one year of medical school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

John Ottenheimer married twice, first to Jane Higgins, a graphic designer.

Ottenheimer and his second wife had one child, Gwendolyn (born c. 1977 in Anacortes, WA), who has Asperger's Syndrome.

A biographical profile of Ottenheimer appeared on the Iris Institute web site c. 2007: "John Underhill Ottenheimer has seventy years experience as an architect, philosopher, poet, farmer, designer, inventor, artist, pilot, craftsman, author, and landscaper. He completed the University of Chicago Great Books Course, did a five year apprenticeship with Frank Lloyd Wright in Wisconsin and Arizona, and another eleven years at Taliesin West, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Greek Church in Milwaukee, the Marin County Civic Center, the Regional Arts Center at Centre College in Danville KY, etc. He has done advanced study of Arctic Engineeering at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. He is the creator of Western Star Farm. He holds a patent on the Crossflow Wind Turbine. He is the designer of 100% passive solar heated houses: Organic Architecture Nothwest. As a registered architect for forty years he has worked on town plans, theaters, churches, schools, clinics, shopping centers, office buildings, museums, apartments, factories, custom houses, prefabricated houses, a regional arts center, racetrack pavilion, restaurants, a natatorium, a government building, a fire station, a barn, a waiting shelter, a convalescent center, and bridges." (See "Iris Institute Associates,"Accessed 02/03/2011.)

PCAD id: 5975