This is truly amazing! No designer involved but it’s all about design, nevertheless!
Eliphante was created near Sedona, inover 28 years by Michael Kahn and his wife, Leda Livant. The Residence that drew my attention through its originality was built until a progressive brain disease killed Mr. Kahn this December (71years old).
Eliphante, The Handmade Home has a 25-foot ceilings and incorporates rocks and scraps from construction sites, stained glass, pottery and wood and it was turned into a nonprofit arts organization in the late 1980s.
And it’s not only the Eliphante with the fascinating history. The couple who built it also has one. Ms. Livant was 45years old, married with two children and living in Westport when she met Mr. Kahn.
My husband and I went for a vacation on Cape Cod, and I met Michael, who was an artist there. He showed me one of his large canvases, a dark blue abstract painting with a small rectangle of light. What I saw in that particular painting was an image that invoked fear in me. I thought, there’s another world I have to explore. I knew I had to open my eyes to the rest of my life.
Three months later, Ms. Livant left her family and went to live with Mr. Kahn.
People said, ‘Leda must have gone crazy,’. It wasn’t craziness, it was like a rebirth. Within three weeks of my moving to Cape Cod, I got pneumonia and almost died, I was in such mourning for my family and so vulnerable, and the sadness of having left my kids has never left me.
Nine years later, the couple moved to Sedona, where two business people offered them three acres rent-free. The lack of money never disarmed the two artists who added Hippodome to Eliphante, as the residence of Ms. Livant.
The main concern is the endangered Eliphante that’s being planed to deed by her landlords. Even if the original couple had a Smithsonian evaluation for conservation purposes, they never received the $28,000 calculation.
I guess that makes Eliphante a uniquely styled mansion handmade by two lovers connected beyond ordinary understanding endangered by very ordinary reasons – money.
Why does art in its pure form must disappear like that? Can’t we do something? At least have an opinion?
If you want to read more about this story, you can try the nytimes.com and eliphante.org.