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AIA 2016 Firm of the Year

May 31, 2016 – Detroit, Michigan – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Michigan will honor WTA Architects with the 2016 AIA Michigan Firm of the Year Award. The presentation will be made at the annual Celebration of Architecture on June 10 at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The award recognizes an organization of architects who have consistently produced distinguished architecture for at least 10 years. The firm shall have great depth, breadth, be widely known for quality and its work shall be the product of a collaborative environment.

Returning to his home town in 1947 from working during the war for Giffels & Valet, Frederick Wigen, AIA, joined with Clarence Merrill to form the firm of Merrill & Wigen. Merrill died shortly after the forming of the firm and it became Frederick E. Wigen Architect & Associates. The early work was single family residential “ranch style” homes and various small commercial and religious works. The firm expanded during the next ten years with both personnel and public and parochial school projects.

In 1958 Leslie D. Tincknell, FAIA, joined the firm as senior designer after graduating from the University of Michigan. In 1963 the firm changed the name to Wigen, Tincknell & Associates, Inc. when Tincknell became a partner and responsible for the firm’s design program.

Located in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region, the firm originally focused on rural areas, small cities, villages and school districts of the Thumb area. WTA now provides architectural services throughout the state of Michigan with a focus on education, commercial, medical and governmental facilities.

Under the direction of John T. Meyer, FAIA, the firm began its historic preservation efforts in 1975 at a time when the common practice was to raze outdated buildings. Efforts to save historic structures continue today as the firm’s preservation specialists work throughout the state on a variety of projects. The most notable of which were restoration of the Michigan State Capitol House Chambers, Rotunda, and Upper Corridors, which received an AIA National Design Award in 1999.

The firm expansion has required changes in space over the years that was solved by new office construction in 1964, moving to a restored historic mansion in 1984, and to the present location in a renovated six story historic building in downtown Saginaw in 2001.

In 2015 the firm name was changed to WTA Architects. The staff of 20 employees led by current President, Kurt R. Fogelsonger, AIA, provides architectural, planning and interior design services.  WTA Architects is looking to continue the firm for generations to come as they service the state of Michigan.

The American Institute of Architects Michigan, headquartered in Midtown Detroit, established its awards program to bring to public attention the value and importance of architectural excellence and to recognize those whose notable achievements encourage all to make excellence in architecture the standard. Visit or call 313.965.4100 to learn more.

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