Obituaries

 James John Walrod
Born: 08/25/1961
Died: 09/26/2017
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James John Walrod

Jim Walrod died unexpectedly of natural causes on Saturday the 23th of September. Walrod was a unique figure who embodied the spirit of New York. He advised and enlightened a broad range of friends and clients at the highest levels of accomplishment in art, music, fashion, design, architecture, real estate, and technology. A fixture at downtown openings, Walrod was just as likely to be found in a boardroom designing hotels, planes, and high-end residences as he was at The Great Jones Cafe, flea markets, the P.S. 1 Book Fair or the Lexington Avenue Candy Store on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Widely known as a “design guru” and a “Furniture Pimp” (coined by Mike D of the Beastie Boys), Walrod grew to become one of the most highly regarded interior designers and experts in the field of mid-century and contemporary design. His work extended from New York to Los Angeles to San Francisco and Japan.

Throughout his career, Walrod collaborated with Jean Nouvel, Richard Gluckman, Eric Goode, Sean MacPherson, and Andre Balazs among others, on projects realized in Los Angeles and New York including hotels, nightclubs, private residences, office buildings, and jet planes. After 9/11, Walrod designed the interiors of Colors restaurant and did extensive work with retailer Steven Alan. In the past decade, Walrod worked on a plethora of commercial projects including Gild Hall in the financial district and The Thompson LES, among many other projects. He co-curated an exhibition on Paul Rudolph's drawings for a Lower Manhattan Expressway for the Drawing Center as well as exhibitions on “Rad Light” and “Difficult” design. Walrod’s work has appeared in the The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, and Architectural Digest, among countless others. He served as a Contributing Editor of Apartamento Magazine, conducting some of the most compelling interviews with both the quirky and the prominent.

Jim Walrod was the author of “I Knew Jim Knew.”  A self-taught architectural historian, decorator and social commentator, this book was his own collection on obscure NYC factoids, pop culture, and things no one else knew.  

Walrod had an insatiable thirst for visual information and his constantly evolving aesthetic was sparklingly original. He spent his days drawing inspiration from all New York had to offer, pounding the pavement, looking, learning, and discussing everything from lamps and paintings to urban development and ‘zines with his many devoted friends.

Jim was eternally proud of his Jersey City roots, he routinely led his clients on tours through the city, pointing out highlights and ending with a treat at Torico's.  Jim was predeceased by his parents, Joan Walrod and Donald Walrod. He is survived by his sister, Kathleen Walrod, and her husband, Charles D’Amico.

Jim, you will be missed by all of those who delighted in your creativity and conversation and were privileged to share your brilliance – a star too soon put out. You were a mentor, a friend and you enriched every day of our lives and we, along with your many friends, are bereft without you. His friend Laila said, “Jim can’t be gone. Where the hell would he go?  He’d pick New York over Heaven, I swear to God.”

A memorial service for Jim will be held at McLaughlin Funeral Home, 625 Pavonia Avenue, Jersey City, NJ, 07306, on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, from 4 to 8 PM. 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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