The Rainbow House / Ace's Wild WestLloyd "Ace" Parsons , Claire Parsons
Vancouver, Washington, 98660, United States
The house was demolished August 1999.
About the Artist/Site
After retiring from the Kaiser Shipyard, Lloyd “Ace” Parsons set to work on transforming his simple white home into The Rainbow House – a beacon of neatly organized, prismatic colors. The exterior was fully painted with bright stripes and patterns, and the trim and shutters were decorated with cut wood appliques. The fence around the small yard was similarly painted and held a dense garden, miniatures, and whirligigs. The environment also extended into the interior of the home which was completely painted using the same primary color scheme and also housed object collections and other decorative elements like glass pendants strung from the ceilings. Parsons and his wife Claire enjoyed sitting on their back porch and would chat with passersby who were curious about their home, going so far as to provide a covered picnic area for visitors. While the house was first considered to be an “eyesore,” community members were eventually drawn to the charm of the unique structure and the generous spirit of its owners.
A local roadway project threatened the home, but the plan was altered so as not to affect The Rainbow House. Unfortunately, soon after this decision, Parsons suffered a stroke and Claire passed away. Unable to welcome visitors (due to impaired speech from the stroke) and maintain the house, Parsons offered to sell the property to the county who closed on the home May 1999. An estate sale was held at the home that same month that raised $3,500 to be split between Parsons and the American Cancer Society. Fans of Parsons’ work came to purchase objects from the home (as well as pieces of the house itself, including shutters and gates) and share memories about the exceptional property and its owners. Shortly after this event, the County Commissioners presented Parsons with a scrapbook of photos of the house and a “certificate of appreciation for his contribution to our cultural heritage.”
On August 11, 1999, the house was demolished.
This essay was adapted from this wonderful record of The Rainbow House produced by Richard Hovey and hosted by Narrow Larry’s World of the Outstanding.
paint, wood, miniatures, whirligigs, found objects
Map & Site Information
Vancouver, Washington, 98660 us
Latitude/Longitude: 45.6837914 / -122.7488096
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