Originally I visited San Francisco in the summer of 1977 as a young gay man in search of a happier place to live. At that time, the design district was located in the Ice House and in Jackson Square. They were wonderful and so was the city. I dreamed of living here one day and of having a design office in wonderfully sophisticated Jackson Square. It certainly was a world apart from Austin, Texas.
As it turns out, the shift was premature for me. When I did finally make it here for good, in the summer of 1987, Clarellen and Henry Adams had turned the design industry on its ear – moving the entire district South of Market to the site it now occupies 30 plus years later. Henry Adams had already passed away, but certainly his memory and his accomplishments had not.
Clarellen – well that is another story. She was as vibrant and alive as anyone I have ever known. We worked on many projects together and she was always there supporting every part of the industry. On the occasion of her 90th birthday party – beautifully hosted by Applegatge Tran Interiors – I remarked that I hoped that as many people would attend my funeral as were at her birthday party. Clarellen replied, ” Don’t worry honey, I will be there!”That is the kind of dear woman our Clarellen was.
Clarellen will be in our hearts & memories forever!
-MICHAEL M. MERRILL ASID, NKBA, CID