Wulff and Fifield
Franz Victor ‘Vic’ Leonard Wulff was born in Kansas City, Missouri on August 28th, 1911. Vic earned both his BS in Architecture (in 1936) and BS in Architectural Engineering (’43) from Kansas University. Following college, Mr. Wulff served the US Naval Reserves as Lt. Commander between 1943-46. Employed as a draftsman for William Templeton Johnson, FAIA for a few years (1946-49), he was promoted to Chief Draftsman for the years 1949-50. He served as a partner in the firm Johnson, Hatch & Wulff Architects (between 1950-53) prior to launching Wulff, Fifield & Associates (at 1422 6th Avenue) with Herbert Pray Fifield.
Herb Fifield was born in Newton, Iowa on October 11, 1915 and attended USC between 1934-38. Concurrent to securing ‘private instruction’ in Structural Engineering (between 1941-1944), Herb worked for the US Navy Public Works Department from 1940 to 1945 (likely alongside Lloyd Ruocco, Russell Forester and Sim Bruce Richards). Following the War he was employed as both architect and engineer for Bodman & Murrell Architects in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (1946-47). Returning to San Diego, Fifield worked as Staff Architect for the San Diego Unified School District (1948-51) before joining the team at Johnson, Hatch & Wulff again both as Architect and Engineer (1951-53) where he hit it off with Vic Wulff.
With Fifield, Wulff bought Johnson’s office from Bill Lodge after Johnson passed away. Here they employed John Henderson as a draftsman (until he left to work for Lloyd Ruocco), Mrs. O'Connell as secretary (she had worked for Temp Johnson for several years) and Wally Duncan who worked as the office’s estimator, spec writer and job checker. The list of in-house registered architects to join the firm in the early years included Wally Duncan, Stan Ring, Ed Zimmerman, Bill Unger, and Don Innes.
Don Innes designed
several of the firm's schools and churches prior to leaving to partner
with Robert Des Laurieres (and then later Dave Tennebaum). Unger
and Zimmerman also were tasked with the office’s
school projects. Bill Unger has been credited as designing the Allison/McKlusky
Real Estate office in Pacific Beach before leaving to work as Foodmaker's
in-house architect. Stan Ring left his Palm Springs practice to
join Wulff and Fifield where he designed the Church of Religious
Science (in University Heights) and a Dentist Office on Clairemont
Wulff served the community well during his career through stints on the Chula Vista City Council (1952-55), Planning Commission (1950-53), Chula Vista Civil Service Committee (1954-55), Chula Vista Sister City Committee (1961) as well as the San Diego Chapter of the AIA as Treasurer (1951), Secretary (1952), Vice President (1953) and President (1954).
Partial List of San Diego Projects
Allison - McCloskey Escrow Company
American Optical Building
Bird Rock Elementary School (1951)
Chula Vista Recreation Center and Ira C. Copley Memorial YMCA (1955)
Donald N. Sharp Hospital (1954)
Herb Fifield Residence (1949)
Harley E. Knox Elementary School (1958)
James Whitcomb Riley Elementary School (1959)
Kelco Office & Research Lab (1957)
Pacific Beach Junior High (1953)
Private Residence for Kellogg employee
Psychiatric Unit at San Diego County General Hospital
San Diego State College Training School (1953)
San Diego Public Library (1954)
Walt Whitman Elementary School (1958)
Woodrow Wilson Jr. High (Addition) (1959)
Wulff, Vic Residence (1952)