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Dust-up in the Desert: Fate of Lautner Motel Muddled

A colleague points us to this sad news: hotelier, architecture-lover and Lautner-fan Steven Lowe died last month unexpectedly. Lowe owned the Lautner Motel in Desert Hot Springs and the Beat Hotel, inspired by his buddy William Burroughs. Aside from his love of architecture and Beat writers, the rest of his life reads like every character in Six Feet Under rolled into one:

his childhood in a Mennonite family with a mortician father, his foray into writing for a pornographic publisher, his chance meeting with Burroughs that led to him becoming his close friend (maybe lover, it was never clear) and researcher on the book, Cities of the Red Night.But we're not just relaying this news because Lowe lived a colorful life and had fabulous taste in midcentury furnishing. If that were the criteria for coverage in Curbed, every hairdresser in Weho might be featured. No, we mention it because the fate of these two hotels is now unclear. It seems Lowe neglected to leave a will, so no one is quite sure what will happen next. Sell them? Convert to housing? Create a shrine to Burroughs? Your guess is as good as ours.
· Steven Lowe: 1947-2007 [Dwell Blog]