Cleo Baldon

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Cleo Baldon
Baldon with her husband, Ib Melchior.
Baldon with her husband Ib Melchior in 2007
Born (1927-06-01)June 1, 1927
Leavenworth, Washington
Died October 12, 2014(2014-10-12) (aged 87)
Nationality American
Alma mater Woodbury University
Occupation Architect
Spouse(s) Ib Melchior
Design Swimming pools

Cleo Baldon (June 1, 1927 – October 12, 2014) was an American architect, landscape architect, and furniture designer based in Los Angeles, where she contributed to many well-known structures, especially pools. She worked as the design director of Galper-Baldon Associates, headquartered in Venice, California.[1] Baldon is credited with having a profound effect on the California furniture industry with her outdoor furniture designs.[2]


Baldon was born in Leavenworth, Washington,[3] but her family lived in the small community of Peshastin, Washington.[2] She moved to California, where she attended and graduated from Woodbury University.[2]

Baldon formed the partnership of Galper-Baldon Associates, a landscape architectural design firm, with Sid Grapher. Baldon oversaw virtually all the projects for Galper-Baldon Associates, with the exception of landscape plantings.[2] In 1985, Baldon told the Los Angeles Times that "I don't understand plants."[2] Her partner Sid Galper was the horticulturist. Baldon designed over 3,000 swimming pools in Southern California and held a design patent for the contour spa with ergonomic underwater seating. She has been credited with the development of the lap pool, which she claimed to have introduced to California in 1970.[1]

Aside from her architectural work, Baldon designed furniture and formed the California company Terra with Galper-Baldon partner Sid Galper. The company manufactured and sold quality outdoor furniture.[2]

Baldon was married to novelist, screenwriter and film director Ib Melchior, with whom she co-authored the non-fiction books Reflections on the Pool: California Designs for Swimming and Steps & Stairways. He was the son of operatic tenor and movie star Lauritz Melchior.

Baldon died on October 12, 2014. She and her husband, who survived her, resided in the Hollywood Hills.[2] Baldon's husband Melchior died on March 14, 2015 at the age of 97.[4]


  1. ^ a b "The splashiest history". Los Angeles Times. 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Designing Women". Los Angeles Times. 1985-02-24. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  3. ^ Armstrong, Alice Catt; Vitale, Sarah Alice. Who's Who in California, Volume 13. Who's Who Historical Society. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Mike Barnes. "Ib Melchior Dead: 'Robinson Crusoe on Mars' Screenwriter Was 97". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 18, 2015.