Wilbur Taylor, 71, a government architect for nearly 40 years, died Monday at his Bethesda home following a heart attack.

Mr. Taylor joined the Navy's Bureau of Yards and Docks in 1930, and the U.S. Public Health Service in 1945. He retired there in 1969 as chief of the office of architecture and engineering in the Health Care Facilities Division.

During his years with the public health service, he helped develop construction guidelines and standards for hospital facilities built under the Hill-Burton program.

Since retiring from government service, he had worked as a hospital architectural consultant.

Mr. Taylor was a native of Owensboro, Ky.He worked for a Lake Worth, Fla., architect before moving to Washington in 1930. He had attended George Washington University here.

He was the author of a number of technical articles, including a chapter on "Laboratory Facilities and Services" in a book published by the American Public Health Association this year.

Mr. Taylor belonged to the American Hospital Association and the Association for Hospital Planning and was a member of Eldbrooke United Methodist Church in Washington.

He is survived by his wife, Ida G., of the home; his mother, Mae Taylor, and three sisters, Esther Holland, Bessie Stallings, and Edna Waggener, all of Lake Worth, Fla., and a brother, Martin R., of Clewiston, Fla.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Diabetes Association or Eldbrooke United Methodist Church.