PaperCity Magazine

March 2020- Houston

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Page 82 of 131

81 BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON. ART DIRECTION MICHELLE AVIÑA. PHOTOGRAPHY PÄR BENGTSSON. REDISCOVERING THE TALENT OF MODERNIST DESIGNER SALLY WALSH IN ONE OF HER LAST SURVIVING INTERIORS, THE BROCHSTEIN HOUSE S ally Walsh blew through every stereotype of her time. She was Hans Knoll's number two in Knoll's Chicago office; a partner and a peer in eminent Houston design, furnishings and architecture firms Evans- Walsh, Wilson, and S.I. Morris Associates; celebrated nationally with extensive press in shelter and trade magazines; and tapped for the plum commission of the era: Braniff Airlines HQ in Dallas, the $75 million corporate playground unveiled in 1978 that was as lavish and innovative as Apple or Google campuses are today. Along with that project, she designed a swank pad at DFW Airport for the original power couple: Braniff CEO Harding Lawrence and his wife, advertising pioneer Mary Wells Lawrence. Flash forward four decades. Braniff is long gone, and Walsh — who was inducted into Interior Design's Hall of Fame in 1986 for her work forging a modern aesthetic in Houston — has largely been forgotten outside a knowing niche within the city's architectural community. Twenty-eight years ago, she passed away from a rare blood cancer at the age of 65. With the exception of a generously endowed annual lecture in her name sponsored by the AIA, there's been waning memory and little physical evidence of her contributions, which were transformative to the world of interiors in the era that saw Houston's rise as a great American city: the late 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. At that time, the zeitgeist was that good design could change lives, impacting the workers and work done in law firms, banks, and industry that defined a burgeoning post-war metropolis. Improbably there was no greater designer for the new city than a woman raised in the deserts of the American Mexican border and South Dakota, who received schooling under the tutelage of "the fifth God — Hans Knoll," as Walsh would cite on her resume. Into that Houston, which was about WHEN RAYMOND AND SUSAN MET SALLY Early-morning light streams through a bank of continuous windows facing a wooded ravine, its moniker: the Tree House. Eichenberger chair, owned by Sally Walsh, gifted to the Brochsteins. Saarinen table from Evans-Walsh was a wedding present from Raymond's brother, Branard Brochstein.

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