Lesley Wheel, 1929 - 2004 'It took me eight years in theater to find out where I belonged, but once I got started in architecture, I knew that I was in the right place,' said Lesley Wheel in a March 2001 interview with A|L. The pioneer lighting designer passed away on April 1, 2004, at the age of 75. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College in 1949, she trained in theater lighting and production, and was the first woman to practice lighting design full time. Her work focused on hotel and hospitality design, and in 1957 she joined the staff of the Hilton Hotels Corporation as an in-house lighting consultant. In 1961 she co-founded the firm Wheel-Garon, and in 1977 the firm became Wheel-Gertsztoff. Some of her most notable projects include the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and Union Station in Los Angeles. Her numerous accomplishments and contributions include: founding member, fellow and past president of the IALD; recipient of the Designers Lighting Forum Honor Award in 1979, the Reader's Choice award from Architectural Lighting magazine in 1990, and the IALD Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999; former director of the Lighting Research Institute; and founder and board member of the Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education. Memorial Services will be held in May in New York City and Los Angeles.
Services for industry pioneer Lesley Wheel, who died last month, were held at the Agape Church of Religious Science, Culver City, on May 8 at 10 am. Visit
www.dlfla.org for more information.