“Invest wisely in beauty, for it will serve you the rest of your life.”
This is Eric Maule’s favorite Frank Lloyd Wright quotation. It’s not surprising, since Eric, like Wright, is an architect. Early in his life, he was an apprentice at Taliesin, The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“I interviewed with Mrs. Wright,” Eric recalls. “It was a memorable experience. She was a mystical sort of person, originally from Europe. Her dog, a very large Great Dane and nearly six feet tall, was in the room at the time, sitting next to her in a fur-lined chair. At the conclusion of our interview, she said, ‘I think you’ll fit in very well here.’” And that began his association with Taliesin.
Originally from Waterloo, Iowa, Eric’s family moved to Las Vegas where he grew up and graduated high school. “It was a fairly small town at the time,” he says. “We lived in a family neighborhood, so I really wasn’t exposed very much to ‘the dark side’ of the place when it still had a lot of mob connections. This was the late Sixties, before Vegas was more or less reinvented as a corporate type of city under the guidance of Howard Hughes.”
Following graduation, Eric attended Arizona State, but says he mostly investigated the school of hard knocks, “exploring the realities of life.” He spent a lot of time in the West doing carpentry, art glass and learning to make jewelry, after working with members of The Navajo tribe on a housing project in New Mexico. It was after recognizing that he no longer wanted to work in the 120-degree heat of Las Vegas that he interviewed at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
“At Taliesin, there were about 25 to 30 architects and a group of about 25 apprentices. We worked together on projects outside of Scottsdale, Arizona and Spring Green, Wisconsin, as well as on many jobs elsewhere including The Bartlesville, Oklahoma Community Center; The Biltmore Hotel; and the Vail Pass I-70 solar-powered rest area.”
After seven years with The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, in 1982, Eric moved to Colorado. “I was doing a lot of traveling between Arizona and Wisconsin; and this was one of my favorite places to pass through, so it was an easy decision to come here,” he says. He started a partnership with an engineer in Lakewood and they did a lot of work in the government sector, including at The Air Force Academy, The Army Corps of Engineers, Fitzsimons Army Medical Center and The City of Wheat Ridge. He migrated to Evergreen in 1982 where he did work with The Evergreen Metro District, The Fire Protection District, Jefferson County Road and Bridge, and “most importantly” The Center for the Arts Evergreen.
“I’ve known the group for a long time,” he explains, “since the days of Eugene and Barbara Sternberg and Tom Ware. It’s an organization of people who want to promote the arts, people dreaming of what we can—and will—accomplish.”
Eric is part of the task force preparing to relocate The Center for the Arts from the small building it has occupied in Buchanan Park to the building in Bergen Park that previously housed the Bergen Park Church. “It’s an exciting time,” he says. “This is a phased project, and the first phase is to redo the entire interior, adapting it to its new use. There will be galleries and classrooms, and the entire place will be handicapped accessible. We plan to have this completed by the summer of 2017.”
Eric served on the board of Sculpture Evergreen (formerly Art for the Mountain Community) for ten years and is a past president. He now sits on the advisory board. “We’re always looking for places we can create sites for sculptures in our community, as well as lining up sponsors and partners.”
He also was on the Jefferson County Planning Commission for a number of years.
Professionally, Eric now prefers to work on smaller-scale jobs. “I like to focus on projects I enjoy, things that are interesting to me, and that allow for creative expression.” He frequently partners with his wife, Nancy, an interior designer. “We enjoy undertaking rehab projects both here and in Florida where we’ve remodeled a number of older beachfront properties.”
In his free time, Eric does landscape photography; and he and Nancy ski, hike and bicycle, and to spend time with their two rescue dogs, Layla and Ruby. “We also love to travel, particularly throughout the Southwest. We have a tremendous interest in Native American culture and archeology.” They also make regular trips to Montana where he recently built a house for his parents outside of Columbia Falls, just 15 minutes from Glacier National Park. “My mom is an artist and a concert pianist,” he explains. “I’m sure I got my love for the arts from her.”
It’s at this point that Eric quotes Frank Lloyd Wright: “Invest wisely in beauty, for it will serve you the rest of your life.”
“That philosophy is a theme in my work with all of my clients as well as with The Center for the Arts Evergreen,” he declares.