!nsp!re – Thomas Lauderdale’s Portland Loft

Pink Martini with Storm Large
Pink Martini with Storm Large

I recently saw Pink Martini in concert at the Segerstrom Concert Hall. Even though I’ve seen them six times previously (dating back to 2002), this was my first with singer Storm Large (who now shares lead vocals with original singer China Forbes). It had been a while and I had forgotten what a great experience it is seeing and hearing them –  such an incredibly talented group of musicians who seem to genuinely enjoy what they do.

I went to the show with a great friend and, during intermission, was telling her about this article I had read in Portland Monthly about the loft that Thomas Lauderdale (Pink Martini’s bandleader and pianist) lived in.

Thomas Lauderdale at home
Thomas Lauderdale at home – Photo: Lincoln Barbour

The article (here) details how Thomas and his then-partner, Philip Iosca, a notable designer and artist, remodeled Thomas’ 9,200 square foot loft in the Harker Building.

The Harker Building and designer Philip Iosca
The Harker Building and designer Philip Iosca –
Photo: Lincoln Barbour

Thomas was renting the building early on for $400 per month but was able to buy it once Pink Martini’s first album became successful. In the article, Thomas says, “The message with this building is that you can do something fantastic and not go broke. It just requires problem-solving, ingenuity, and a certain sense of humor”.

The Harker Building - Living Room
The Harker Building – Living Room – Photo: Lincoln Barbour

Philip opened up the space which was a warren of hallways and bookcases, allowing light in; and creating large rooms for entertaining.

The Harker Building - Dining Room
The Harker Building – Dining Room – Photo: Lincoln Barbour

What I enjoyed most was seeing how a designer known for his minimalist approach worked with an avid collector to curate his home into a beautiful design statement. When two artists work together, the results can be even more incredible, as this project demonstrates!