Erickson and Stevens

  • Richard and Don at Taliesen West, c. late 1940’s
    Photo Source:
  • Dennis Stevens during his time at Taliesin West. Stevens apprenticed under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin in Wisconsin and Taliesin West in Arizona.
    Photo Source:
  • 555 E. Durant
    Photo Source: City of Aspen files


Modern Chalet

Don Erickson (1927-2006), Illinois ’47-’48, Taliesen ’48-‘51
Richard Erickson, Illinois, Taliesen ’48-?
Arthur Dennis Stevens, (born 1930) Purdue ‘55/Taliesen “48-‘53

As Chicago area boys, cousins Don and Richard Erickson would spend their weekends designing dream homes. These childhood musings lead Richard to attend Lane Technical School and to follow Don to the University of Illinois architectural program at Navy Pier, after graduating from high school.

Upon his professor’s advice, after a year at U of I, Don set out to gain admission to Taliesin. Accepted by Frank Lloyd Wright after Wright viewed Don’s design portfolio, Don conditioned Wright’s offer upon his additional acceptance of Richard as an apprentice. Wright complied. The cousins apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright from 1948 through 1951. Don opened a practice at age 23, with Richard as Chief Draftsman.

In 1948, Dennis Stevens, a resident of the area near Taliesen, approached Frank Lloyd Wright for advice on good architecture schools and was invited to stay and study. The firm of Erickson and Stevens (originally Architectural Enterprises) was formed in 1962 and continued until 1992.

Charles Matthies commissioned the firm to design of a number of notable buildings in the Chicago area and hired Erickson and Stevens to develop a building, The North of Nell, 555 E. Durant, at the base of Aspen Mountain in 1965.