Donald Craig Arenth, 57, noted interior designer

January 31, 1991|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff

Donald Craig Arenth, 57, a highly regarded interior designer who created spaces as diverse as the Center Club when it was at 1 Charles Center, the Kuwaiti Sheraton Hotel and the Foreign Affairs Building of Brunei, in Southeast Asia, died yesterday after a long illness.

Mr. Arenth, of Bolton Hill, died at the Kingsville home of a friend, Frederick C. Petrich, a voice teacher with whom he had studied. He had been a patient at Johns Hopkins Hospital from Oct. 22 until Monday.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Feb. 10 at Memorial Episcopal Church, Bolton Hill. Combined choirs of that church and Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church will sing. Mr. Arenth sang bass in both choirs at different times.

Mr. Arenth was an associate of the H. Chambers Co., 1010 N. Charles St., an interior design and planning firm where he returned last September after operating his own interior design company for four years. He joined Chambers in 1973 and was vice president from 1977 to 1986.

A business associate recalled that Robert A. Hickman, president of Chambers, who was out of town traveling yesterday, had said, "Don is one of the most creative designers I've ever met." Vice president and treasurer Bryan Simmons described Mr. Arenth as "beloved by all here, a very warm and friendly person."

At Chambers, Mr. Arenth designed a wide variety of spaces including offices at Dover Air Force Base, T. Rowe Price Associates, the First National Bank of Maryland, other Sheraton hotels and the U.S. Department of Education in Washington. He helped design interiors at the National Press Club in Washington.

Mr. Arenth also designed yachts, casinos and other structures. Earlier, he was a partner in a Towson design company, assistant head of exterior and interior design for the Concorde Yacht Division of the Brunswick Corp. and account executive from 1963-64 for the British Petroleum account of Raymond Loewy, in Paris. He also worked in London and the Orient.

Among his interests was a "love of space through yacht design," the Chambers company said a decade ago. "Designing a boat," Mr. Arenth said in a company ad, "is like designing the inside of an egg. No sharp corners. Everything flows."

Mr. Arenth was a member and on the board of the American Society of Interior Designers, an associate member of the American Institute of Architects and member and former vice president of the Industrial Designers Society of America.

He received an Industrial Design Award in 1970 for his work on a Head tennis racket. Portfolios of the graduating classes at the Maryland Institute of Art were judged by Mr. Arenth for three years in the 1980s.

He was a member of Memorial Episcopal Church. Two other choirs he sang for were those of the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation and Grace and St. Peter's Episcopal Church. He was an accomplished horse trainer and rider and a familiar motorcyclist about town.

Born Nov. 21, 1933, in Pittsburgh, he was the son of the late George P. and Edith Craig Arenth. He held a bachelor of fine arts degree in industrial design from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He was in the Army in the Korean War.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations to Memorial Episcopal Church or the Health Education Resources Organization. After cremation, burial will be in Allegheny County Memorial Park in Pittsburgh.

Survivors include two sons, Craig Magnus Arenth of Baltimore and Sean Lydick Arenth of Columbia.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.