Monday, January 25, 2010


In Friday's post about Arthur Elrod the client says "... Arthur and Bill read me exactly ..." Bill being William Raiser, Mr Elrod's partner. According to a correspondent, William Raiser had been a VP at Raymond Loewy before joining Elrod in Palm Springs. The same correspondent says that they died in an automobile accident in the early 1970s, a couple of years after these photos were taken.

These rather corporate looking rooms on North Shore Drive, Chicago, next to the Drake Hotel, are by William Reiser and Arthur Elfrod for the publisher of Ebony, the winner of the 1972 Publisher of the Year Award, and his wife, both collectors of Picasso, Chagall and Martini.

Mrs Johnson is quoted: "We informed Raiser/Elrod that we would like an apartment to complement our two complexions in tones of brown and beige. We felt that this type of setting would be comfortable and flattering."

The article, unattributed as far as I can see, is not very interesting - as if the writer himself was not very curious or enthusiastic, had stuck to the facts and gave a workmanlike description of a place that, at first glance at the photos, seems glamorous and inviting.

Photos by Alexandre Georgas from Architectural Digest, November/December 1972.


  1. Hmmmm...not at all comfortable looking. Way too may woods too. Gosh, I am snarky today.

  2. Thank you for this posting on my friend Bill.
    I am so glad to see him remembered.
    Unfortunately he was not well known in NYC amoung the residential design community, because all of his work at Raymond Lowey Assc, was comericial--offices, apartment houses, restaurants, and the like. It wasn't until he joined up with Arthur that he began to be known. Unfortunately the terrible accident ended what would have been two big carriers.

  3. Janet - thank you. I make no comment on whether you're snarky or not!

    Will - you're very welcome. I find that whole Palms Springs group very interesting and they produced some work that really needs to be highlighted. See you soon, I hope.

  4. What a great design team they were. Remember the Elrod house which was designed in 1968 by John Lautner. The Elrod House as it has become to be called was used in the James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever. You can rent the ultimate party house today for a mere $100,000 for three years but you must share with others who pay for the same use. I wonder what Arthur would be doing today if he were not killed in a car crash with Mr. Raiser in the early 70's?

  5. When I see Elrod's designs, I wonder at the rise of this man from his very humble beginnings. I am his first cousin (once removed), and believe me when I say that he grew up in an extremely rural setting with parents who were farmers, yet he was gifted in a way that defied his background. Back in those days, it was impossible to even utter the word homosexual, so he inevitably became more estranged over the years from much of his family. I'm so sorry that he didn't have more years of creations for all of us to enjoy.

  6. Wes Brown, thank you. The situation you describe, the estrangement, is perhaps more typical than might be supposed - tragically so, even today. Both sides suffer! I too am sorry neither your cousin nor his partner Mr Raiser could have gone one to greater heights. They were very talented. Thank you for writing to me.