Michael Kahn’s Stained Glass Greenhouse in Arizona

My cousin Mike and I hung out together until we both went off to college. Mike started painting at an early age, moved to New York, where he sold paintings on the sidewalk, then to Provincetown, Cape Cod, where he painted, did pottery, and supported himself waiting on tables.

In the ’70s, he moved to a piece of land near Cottonwood, Arizona (near Sedona), where — partially influenced by our book Shelter — he started building a partially underground village of sculptural buildings, which he called Eliphante. I visited him and his wife Leda off and on, and in Home Work, published 24 photos of his wildly creative compound.

This is his greenhouse room built out of old auto windshields, put together with silicone caulk. The stained glass, which he got free, was siliconed on the inside of the windshields.

Mike is no longer with us, but you can learn more about him and Eliphante at: www.eliphante.com/…

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

6 Responses to Michael Kahn’s Stained Glass Greenhouse in Arizona

  1. If just all people would spend their life’s creating beauty, we would have a better world. Since this is not so, we are lucky if we can create our own beautiful world. Loved seeing it, love knowing about it. Thank You!

  2. I saw this picture a year or so back and I felt how wonderful it would be to live in a house with so much light and color. Nice to know where it came from. I’m trying to use old house windows for my version. I hope it creates the same feeling.

  3. Lloyd,
    Informative and interesting: THANK YOU. I had many relatives in the area. In 2000 we had a Reunion in Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood with 156 direct descendents from two women, my fraternal grandmother and her sister “from the old country” living with their families in Jerome. Good to know you are still active. I take my daily oral chemotherapy and infusion chemotherapy every three weeks grateful to still be here. Hope you are in good health. Best wishes,

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