Out on the Town: A Celebration of Presidential Preservation


In honor of the 20th annual Modernism Week, SIA Projects (Save Iconic Architecture) and California Home+Design hosted an intimate dinner at the estate built for President Gerald Ford and wife Betty, to celebrate the organization’s mission to preserve iconic architecture. Designed in 1977 by Welton Becket & Associates with interiors by Beverly Hills decorator Laura Mako, it served as the Fords’ post-White House escape.

Ron Woodson, Jaime Rummerfield, Lindsey Shook. Photos by Tom Keene.

The expansive estate located on the 13th fairway of Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, has been impeccably maintained by new owners, Los Angeles entertainment executives John McIlwee and Bill Damaschke. Both passionate for art, architecture and design, the couple jumped at the opportunity to keep many of the home’s original pieces, while working with Marmol Radziner Architects and designer Darren Brown to bring essential elements up to date.

Darren Bown, Jaime Rummerfield, John McIlwee
Paul Vincent Wiseman, Madeline Stuart
Christine Phillips, Barclay Butera, Erinn Valencich
Steven Price
The media room
Jake Arnold, Vanessa Alexander
Cesar Giraldo
Ron Woodson, Lindsey Shook, Jaime Rummerfield, Nancy Pak, Stacey Farrar, Oliver Furth

John McIlwee opened the legendary home for the evening, giving guests an informative tour followed by a dinner, while SIA Project Founders Jaime Rummerfield and Ron Woodson shared more about the organization’s mission and presented a video on their current preservation of an original Richard Neutra home in Los Angeles.

Ryan Saghian
Kristine Miller Marks, Peter Gurski
Oliver Furth
Julie Wong, Fernando Marfil

Thank you to the gracious sponsors; Benjamin Moore, Cambria, Coyote Outdoor Living, JennAir and Pacific Sales Kitchen & Bath for helping make the evening happen. Visit HERE more information or to donate to SIA Projects.

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