I was interested in this hotel because The Author, the friend I visited in New York State last fall, is writing a book about Mary Jane Coulter, the early architect and designer who worked with the Fred Harvey Company in the first half of the 20th century (see her blog post ). Mary Coulter and architect John Gaw Meem worked on the La Fonda during its expansion in the 1920s (see more info at http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/vision-quest).
The dining room
is surrounded by multi-pane doors and windows which Mary and her artist friend Olive Rush decided should be decorated with little paintings. Artist Ernest Martinez has painted 450 panes over several decades.
There are other bits of her design remaining in the hotel (since remodeled), one of which is the fireplace below
I excused myself to the women chatting around this fireplace as I took the picture, explaining that it was designed by architect and designer Mary Coulter and I wanted a photo to share with my friend who is writing a book about her. I was able to speak with authority – very little authority, but thank you, The Author, for that gift.
Mary also played a large part in designing what is now the French Pastry Shop, including the tinwork for the light fixtures and the chandelier (I apologize – it is hard to see in the photo, blending with the ceiling beams as it does).
The final photo is of the Lady’s restroom – I don’t know if Mary had anything to do with this design, although I could see her playing a part with the light fixture tinwork in here – but I liked the colorful tiles and ambience of this room.
And thank you, Artistic One, for humoring my interest in this hotel, and for the delicious lunch (one of many we had while I was there)!