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In Memory: Cliff Tuttle

San Francisco Hotel

This week the luxury hotel industry lost an award-winning legend. Clifford Tuttle, manager of ForrestPerkins' interior design practice in S.F., passed away May 20 in Houston with his family by his side. Testaments to Cliff's versatile style are the newly renovated elegant rooms and suites of The Fairmont San Francisco (a king room pictured below) and the newly reopened Huntington, transformed with flair to the Scarlet Huntington atop Nob Hill, ForrestPerkins prez Deborah Lloyd Forrest tells us.

A big part of the reason ForrestPerkins VP Bree Dahl joined the firm was because of Cliff, she tells us. It was an "absolute joy" working with him on Starwood's Luxury Collection The Nines in Portland—she as the design rep and he as the interior design lead. (It later won Boutique Design Magazine's Best Hotel Design award.) Cliff brought so much enthusiasm to that project and his personality shines through its design in particular, she says. "It is a living testament to his design skill and style. This project marked the beginning of a great friendship,” she says.

His Hilton San Francisco Union Square project, above. (Another local masterpiece of his: the Ritz's lobby.) SVP Pamela Parsons tells us she and Cliff presented a design competition to a new client as recently as this February, working with a team all through a bad snowstorm when the DC office was closed. "Cliff did a terrific job of the presentation although as facts came out later, he knew how sick he was. No one knew a thing, including me,” she says. His DC projects include the Willard and JW Marriott. A memorial celebration in S.F. is planned for this summer, with details to be released soon. A scholarship has been established in Cliff's name, to be administered and awarded yearly by NEWH (Network of Executives in Hospitality), which gave him the prestigious Person of Excellence Award in 2009.