Emphatically in contrast to the concise forms in rich materials for the office designed by his own Styling staff, Harley Earl's office, designed by Eero Saarinen and Associates, is a luxurious enigma dominated by the large rounded bulks of his desk and the two build-in sofas. In the solid, hand-crafted cherry desk are a wealth of gorgeous gadgets, like the light and temperature control panels, built-in waste basket, TV control, and a desk light that rises from its flush prone position at the push of a button.
The bulky rounds of the solid cherry sofas and desk in Earl's office were designed as commemoration of the wood molds once used to form the car bodies. The built-in sofas are set on recessed perforated metal bases. Finn Juhl desk chair, above, was modified by GM Styling with cherry and chrome swivel base. Special ceramic planters are by Mia Grotel; the Natzlers did the ash tray.
Then there is the cherry wall paneling ribbed with aluminum extrusions, and in contrast to this, a ceiling covered in a beige fabric, cross-hatched with cherry strips. The beige and brown-tone room is punctuated with the orange and turquoise fabrics on the the two built-in couches that face each other diagonally at either end of the room.
A continuous curve of travertine framed in cherry wraps around one of the couches, and continues to a narrow shelf along the window wall behind Earl's desk. It is supported by tapered chromed legs ending in round feet. The other couch, on the same wall as the desk, has a continuous tapering counter that joins to the desk in a sensuous , tapering curve.
Above pics; 1) William (Bill) Knudsen - 2) Harley with Grousehaven Gang (see details below) - 3) Charlie E. Wilson
The following excerpt is from a 1999 book by Dick Lattimer titled, I Remember Papa Bear: The Story of the Legendary Fred Bear
Muscle at Grousehaven
was a 3,000-acre prime hunting area adjacent to the Rifle River Recreational
Area in the forests of northern lower Michigan. The roads in Grousehaven were
named after famous people who had hunted there. There was
was property owned by Harold R. “Bill” Boyer of Grosse Pointe,
had also been the GM vice president in charge of the Defense Systems Division
and in the early 1960s he supervised tests on experimental vehicles for possible
use on the moon. General Motors later built the lunar rover that the astronauts
used on the moon during the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions.
was at Grousehaven that Fred taught such people as Gen. Curtis LeMay (who would
later run for president of the