Two and a half years ago, after being in business over twenty years, my partner Miguel and I undertook the renovation of one of Palm Springs most iconic buildings: design legend Arthur Elrod’s former showroom. At the time, the building was masked by overgrown topiaries and out-of-scale columns, but we were confident in our abilities to return it to its former glory and transform it into the site of our vintage and modern shop a La MOD. Curiously enough, Elrod’s showroom was a place that one of our close friends, the celebrated acrylic designer, Charles Hollis Jones, already knew well. In the 1960s Charles and Arthur Elrod had been collaborators and friends, and as fate would have it, Charles’s furniture had even been photographed in Elrod’s showroom.
Palm Springs has no shortage of architecturally famed buildings. From Albert Frey’s docked-in-a-boulder masterpiece to the sprawling Sunnylands Estate, iconic design is in the desert city’s DNA. So when Ron Woodson and Jaime Rummerfield of Woodson & Rummerfield were in need of a destination to host a Modernism Week event in honor of their organization, Save Iconic Architecture, in conjunction with DECASO, it needed to be one that would seriously stun.
“We’re on job sites every week, and we see many beautiful homes,” says interior designer Jamie Rummerfield, “And far too many times we’ve stepped onto a glorious property in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Holmby Hills—and the client starts the meeting with the heart-wrenching words, ‘So, we’d like to tear it down…'” So begins the story of SIA, or Save Iconic Architecture, the organization founded by Jamie Rummerfield and Ron Woodson of Woodson and Rummerfield in an effort to protect and save iconic Southern California architecture.