Daily Dose: Vive l’Eliphante

Add to TwitterVive l’eliphante! It could pass as French for “long live the elephant!” Eliphante, an outdoor sculpture/residence gets its faux-French spelling of “elephant” after a visitor offered a faux-pronunciation of the actual French word “éléphant.” (Eliphante’s entrance does indeed resemble the animal’s long trunk.) Despite the falsities of spelling, the current owner and resident is very sincere about this project and her artistic lifestyle in general.

Entrance to Eliphante; Image courtesy of atlasobscura.com

Leda Livant and her late husband Michael Kahn built Eliphante in 1979 on land near Cornville, AZ. The structure is composed mainly of found objects which include rocks, scraps from construction sites, stained glass, pottery and driftwood. Though majestic in its own way, Eliphante is in dire need of repairs (an estimated $28,000) and is listed in the Smithsonian’s SOS (Save Outdoor Sculpture) initiative.

Interior fireplace of Eliphante; Image courtesy of atlasobscura.com

It started out as a residence for Leda and Michael, but today Eliphante is an organization to support the arts as well as a sporadically active tour site.* Leda lives in another fascinating building on the premises – Hippodome. It has no plumbing, heat, or electricity but it’s filled with the beauty of her husband’s paintings and found objects. Both residences find and reflect the value in even the smallest of things. What a gratifying way to live.

*If you’re interested in a tour, contact J. D. Allen of Blue Feather Tours at 928.963.0271.

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