Losing the blue, getting the blues | AspenTimes.com
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Losing the blue, getting the blues

Dear Editor: Whoa! Wait a minute! Did anyone stop to smell the drying paint on the building that housed Elli of Aspen for 30 years across from the Hotel Jerome? This is Elli of Aspen’s 50th anniversary and you had to go paint the old Paepcke building gray or is it just a primer coat? Why not just paint it black and really make a statement? Did you really think no one would notice or that it didn’t matter? Elli Iselin, the ultimate lady of ski fashion and supreme athlete, and her beloved friend, Herbert Bayer, an Aspen cultural visionary whose spirit lives in his art, decided together to paint Elli of Aspen this special blue exactly 50 years ago. Some of us who care know it as “Herbert Bayer blue” or “Elli blue.” Let’s see, we’re 40. So, “Elli blue” came into being when we were negative 10. Now that sounds silly, but if you look at it from a historical perspective, the mere fact that this particular building existed before we were born and was painted blue is precisely the reason we care about it now. Perhaps this incident will prompt a “too little, too late” response, but does no one really care, does no one remember, or is it just an oversight?You’ve just painted over an era of Aspen history: Aspen’s first European ski boutique, ski school meeting place, a gathering place for all those who came to Aspen in the early days. That blue building and what it stood for will always remain in the hearts and minds of some of us, especially the generations of people who consider Aspen a special place – even though it is now disguised as a drab-gray bank-to-be.In memory of Elli of Aspen, happy 50th anniversary! Elli’s style and love of Aspen continue to inspire us every day at Gorsuch, Ltd. Molly and Jeff GorsuchAspen


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