Interior Design

The task of interior design for the California Zephyr went the Philadelphia architectural firm of Harbeson, Hough, Livingston and Larson, which had evolved from the Paul Cret design house (H-2 L-2, as they are known, are still in business to this day). Paul Cret and HHL&L were known for the complete design of the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens, the rare book room at the University of Pennsylvania Library, the master plan for the complete recreation of historical Independence Mall, and their previous interior design work with Budd. The original Burlington Zephyr was a complete Paul Cret design, as well.

John Harbeson became the CZ's project architect, and as such he coordinated the effort and selected the individual artists who's work graced the train and contributed to its grandeur. More than just filler decoration, Harbeson wanted the art of the train to stimulate the passengers' interest in the land through which they traveled. It is a reflection of the confidence that Harbeson had in the artists he selected that he allowed them to create freely without attempting to control them. Here are the principal artists that John Harbeson selected:

Pierre Bourdelle -- Created carved and polychromed linoleum bar fronts which pictured sage hens and wild turkeys, as well as the wall pieces illustrating the train's route across America and desert storms.

Mary Louise Lawser -- Painted a series of murals depicting historical scenes for each of the dome-coaches, and created the appliques that hung over the aisles in the dining car.

David Harriton -- Designed the glass partitions in the dining car, as well as the reliefs in the mirrors behind the bars and steward's podium.

Russell Patterson -- Painted the landscape murals on the walls of the buffet and observation lounges.

Advertising Design

The advertising art for the CZ went through several distinct periods, as can be seen in the collection of magazine ads on our Advertisements page. This work came from several different advertising agencies and artists, which we are currently researching. If you have any information on artists by the names of Komorski or Gerhardt Hurt, please let us know!

Bruce Bomberger -- Bomberger was an artist with the San Francisco art service Patterson and Hall, which provided services for all the major ad agencies.


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