We are saddened by the recent death of author, architectural designer, and hotelier Charles Paterson, who along with his daughter, Carrie Paterson, founded DoppelHouse Press in 2011 to publish the English edition of Paterson’s aunt’s 1936 biography of her husband, the (in)famous Czechoslovak-Viennese architect Adolf Loos.
Paterson penned the details of his remarkable life in his memoir, Escape Home: Rebuilding a Life After the Anschluss, published in 2013.
He will be remembered fondly by his family and by his community of Aspen, Colorado, where he left a legacy of good deeds and strong impressions. Paterson chose the burgeoning ski town with its arts and culture as a 19-year-old Viennese-Australian immigrant who’d survived World War II with his older sister Doris and stalwart father, Stefan Schanzer.
Photo left: Aspen Times, 2013.
Starting in 1949 with a small cabin built with scrap lumber and reclaimed windows, Paterson designed, built and ran the iconic Aspen ski lodge-turned-hotel, The Boomerang, which he created working drawings for in the late 1950s as an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright.
Throughout his life, Paterson remained committed to education and to helping people, and especially young people, in need. He believed in the transformative power of a good example and was exactly that for the many with whom he came into contact. He was a voracious reader, watercolorist and designer, prolific and stylish skier, and loved classical music. He was devoted to the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he and his beloved wife of 49 years, Fonda Dehne Paterson, helped rebuild the campus and set up the Paterson Scholarship Fund. It was at the Festival that he found his first summer employment as a rope puller and usher at the Eero Saarinen music tent nearly 70 years ago. He will be sorely missed, but his friends and loved ones take comfort in the way he lived his life intentionally, optimistically, and with creativity and vision.