Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)

Architects

Detlie, John

ID: 2366
Full Name: John Stewart Detlie , Sr.
Occupation: Architect
Gender: M
Nationality: US
Birth Date: 1908-12-23
Death Date: 2005-11-30
Family: Spouse: John Stewart Detlie first married the diminutive movie star Veronica Lake (nee Constance Frances Marie Ockelman, [11/14/1922-07/07/1973]) in 1940; Detlie was 32, Lake 18. Lake, very popular during World War II (c. 1941-1944) gained a reputation among actors and directors as difficult to work with, troubles perhaps amplified by her alcoholism. Detlie divorced her in 1943; he then married B. Virginia Crowell on 10/12/1946 in Seattle, WA.
Parents: His father was Martin Oliver Detlie (born c. 02/1878 in SD), in 1910, a postal clerk; both of Martin's parents, S.O. (a carriage builder born c. 04/1842) and Carrie E. Detlie (born c. 08/1848), had been born in Northern Norway and migrated, like a lot of Scandinavians, to the Dakotas in the late 19th century. in 1920, Martin had been promoted to Postal Inspector, and lived with his family and a servant, Essa Carpenter, in Montgomery, AL. His mother, Atta L. Detlie (born c. 1881 in WI), raised his sister, Wanda D. (born c. 1903 in SD), brother, Stanley C. (born c. 1904 in SD), and John, the youngest of the family. Atta's parents had both come from WI; her name did not appear in the U.S. Census of 1920, nor was she mentioned as the nearest relative on Martin's World War I Draft Registration Card of 09/12/1918; she may have died between 1910-1918. Stanley Detlie, like John, became a Hollywood set designer in the 1930s-1940s.
Children: Detlie had with his first wife, two children, Elaine Detlie, (born 08/21/1941 in CA, later known as "Ani Sangge Lhamo" after her conversion to the Indonesian Subud religion) and William Anthony Detlie, a child born prematurely as a result of a movie set fall by Lake. Born on 07/08/1943, he died on 07/15/1943. With Virginia Crowell Detlie, he raised Holly Detlie Alarcon and John Detlie, Jr.
Relocation: According to the U.S. Census of 1910, Martin and Atta Detlie lived with their family in a dwelling at 207 13th Street West in Sioux Falls, SD; Martin Detlie had been transferred to a new job in Montgomery, AL, by 1920, where they lived in a rented house at 5 Finley Curve. In 1934, he listed as his address 2415 Pilgrimage Trace, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. Detlie's last residence was in La Quinta, Riverside County, CA. He was buried in the Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, CA, a veteran's cemetery, Section 63d Site 106.
Biographical Information: Education: B. S. without Designation, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, 1928. The architect D.O. Whilldin, for whom Detlie worked in 1927, attended the University of Pennsylvania, and may have steered Detlie there for architectural study. B.Arch., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1932; M.Arch., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1933;
Work History: Draftsman, D.O. Whilldin, Tuscaloosa, AL, Summer 1927; Draftsman, Albert Kahn, Architect, Detroit, MI, Summer 1928; Detlie worked as a set designer in various Hollywood film studios, 1930s-1942; Art Director, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA; (during the Depression, many out-of-work architects in Southern CA took jobs with movie studios to earn money.) Architect, Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1935; Captain/Lt.Colonel, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Central Building, Advisor to Camouflage School, Washington State Defense Council, 1942-1946; (Like many architects seeking to assist in the World War II effort, Detlie used his design skills to work on projects camouflaging strategic sites.) Project Architect, Young and Richardson, Architects and Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1942; Designer, Young and Richardson, Architects and Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1946-1950; Partner, Young, Richardson, Carleton and Detlie, Architects and Engineers, Seattle, WA, 1950-1956; Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, Korean War, 1950-1953; Detlie withdrew from the firm in 1956. Retired Reserve, U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, c. 1962. Principal, John S. Detlie, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1962; he had an office at 3001 Motor Avenue, Los Angeles, CA,
Miscellaneous: Detlie sailed from Hamburg, Germany on 05/23/1934 to New York, NY, 05/31/1934 aboard the S.S. Washington. He died of lung cancer at age 96.
Professional Awards: College: Member, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL; Member, Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Society, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL; Member, Phi Gamma Delta, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL; Member, Tau Beta Pi, Engineering Honor Society, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL; Member, Tau Sigma Delta, Honor Society in Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; awarded Theophilus P. Chandler Scholarship, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, 1928; awarded John Stewardson Memorial Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1933;
Post College: Gaffney's Lake Wilderness Lodge received an American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Honor Award, 1952; The University of Washington, Seattle, Men's Residence Hall received a Merit Award from the AIA, Washington Chapter, 1955. Both awards were given to the firm of Young, Richardson, Carleton and Detlie.
Countries: United States