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Santa Monica Library Hosts “War, Wright and Gemutlichkeit” Sunday

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By Lookout Staff

July 17, 2013 -- From Nazi-occupied Austria to Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio in Taliesin, Wisconsin, designer Charles Paterson developed a fascination for modern housing solution.

Paterson, who was born Karl Schanzer in 1929, will tell his story during a presentation titled “War, Wright and Gemutlichkeit” presented by the Southern California Chapter of the Society for Architectural Historians (SAH/SCC) at the Santa Monica Main Library Sunday at 2 p.m.

“The program will connect Paterson’s family history to modern housing solutions in Central Europe through Vienna’s Werkbundsiedlung- a housing complex where the Schanzer family lived from 1932 until they fled in 1938,” organizers said.

“The family’s intimate knowledge of architect Adolf Loos, who married the author’s aunt Claire Beck and did several commissions for the family, will also be explored.”

After fleeing his native Vienna during Nazi occupation, Paterson studied with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin before creating his own practice in Aspen, Colorado.

A self-described “ski bum,” Paterson bought half a block in Aspen and built a one-room cabin from left-over lumber.

The Boomerang Lodge would become a life’s work, as, over the years, Paterson added more than a dozen rooms, a lounge and a pool that provided underwater views from inside the structure.

Paterson and his daughter, Carrie Paterson, have co-authored “Escape Home,” a book published this year by DoppelHouse Press.

“Relating modern architecture both to its era and to the act of storytelling, this survivor’s tale gives form to the elusive concepts of ‘home,’ freedom, and the unconstrained architectural possibilities of the postwar West,” organizers said.

Paterson and his daughter will read excerpts and share images of his architectural designs. They also will give “an insightful perspective on several Wright projects,” organizers said.

Books will be available for sale and signing by the authors after the presentation at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, at the Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard.

The Santa Monica Public Library is wheelchair accessible. For special disabled services, call Library Administration at (310) 458-8606 at least one week prior to event. The Main Library is served by Big Blue Bus routes 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Ride your bike. Bicycle parking racks are available at the library.

For more information on Santa Monica Public Library programs, visit or contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600.

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