Saturday, November 12, 2011

Arthur Elrod 1: 350 Via Lola

The Architecture and Design Council at the Palm Springs Art Museum initiated their series, Architecture+Design 101, with a lecture about the work of interior designer Arthur Elrod. This was followed by a tour of his 350 Via Lola home from the 1960s in the nearby Las Palmas neighborhood.

The group of about 100 was asked to take off their shoes at the entryway...

...and looking at the custom carpet, you could see why.

The home, with all its furnishings, has been kept virtually intact by Bill Hamling, who was a friend and client of the late designer.

Hamling, who can be seen in a YouTube clip describing the house (click here), is currently in an assisted living faciity, so the residence is on the market.

At slightly under $2 million, the place is an odd historical bargain, so if you have an extra million dollars lying around, call realtor Nelda Linsk above at (760) 325-8600.

According to a Desert Sun article by Judith Salkin about this tour, Arthur Elrod was born in Atlanta in 1926, studied design at Clemson University in South Carolina, then made his way to California after World War Two to study at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles.

During a stint working at the upscale San Francisco furniture store W&J Sloane, Elrod met Hal Broderick, and the two of them started an interior design business in 1953 in Palm Springs called Arthur Elrod and Associates.

According to Adele Cygelman's book, Palm Springs Modern (click here for a PDF with a chapter on the famous Elrod House by architect John Lautner):
"They opened Arthur Elrod Associates on Palm Canyon Drive, a design studio and furniture and fabric showroom. Elrod became the design king of the desert. He did second houses, third houses, spec houses, country clubs, experimental houses, and hotels. Elrod was charming, handsome, and worked tirelessly for his A-list clientele. He hired talented associates William Raiser and Steve Chase, and nurtured local artists and artisans."

Arthur Elrod and William Raiser became romantic partners as well as colleagues, and it was while they were on their way to work early one February morning in 1974 that their Fiat sportscar was hit by a drunk driver. Elrod, 49 and Raiser, 58 died relatively young in a freakish turn of fate.

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