(Picture post card courtesy of Cardcow.com)


Title of Installation:
Hotel McAlpin Marine Grill Room Murals
Materials Used:
Polychromed terra cotta tiles
Additional Materials Information:
General Description:
The hotel's Marine Grill was considered one of the more unusual interiors in the city of New York due to an "expansive grotto of polychrome terra cotta... .

The basement room, at first called the Rathskeller and within a few months the Marine Grill,... is a forest of tile-clad piers that curve up and form great curved vaults, all in a glazed riot of ornament and color - brown, green, cream, silver and scarlet. Giant semicircles along the walls carry faience panels depicting the maritime history of New York.

DESIGNED by Fred Dana Marsh, these show such noteworthy ships as the Half Moon, the steamer Clermont and the Mauretania against contemporary backgrounds, also in high color.                                                                                                                                  

The magazine Architectural Review in 1913 wrote 'if there is any limit to the possibilities of colored clay for decorative purposes, this is it,' and credits the overall tile work to the Atlantic Terra Cotta Company and the hotel's architect, Frank M. Andrews.

But the Marine Grill is not just a surface ornament. The upward curve of each great pier expands out to its neighbor in a series of sinuous shapes, curving in three dimensions. It is a polychrome forest of massive, stunted trees, but expressive of the room's underground location and the giant hotel bearing down on top of it."*

Technical Information (Size,mfg., etc.):
The tiles were manufactured by the Atlantic Terra Cotta Company of Perth Amboy, NJ. Originally there were twenty historical tile panels. The original six, eight foot tall lunettes were repeated.
Year Created:
Does Installation Still Exist?
The original tiled Marine Grill Room was destroyed in 1990. (see picture post card from http://www.cardcow.com/176933/grill-room-hotel-mcalpin-new-york/
"The building owner had closed the restaurant and historic preservationists were concerned with the future of the artwork. Their worst fears were realized when Susan Tunick, president of the non-profit group Friends of Terra Cotta, saw dumpsters outside the hotel filled with fragments from the murals. Rescue efforts were eventually successful when the murals were reassembled under the oversight of the MTA Arts for Transit Program in the Broadway/Fulton Station on the A-line subway."**
New York
Location of Installation:
As of October 2011, six reassembled murals have been moved to the William and Fulton Streets entrance to the Broadway/Fulton Street subway station.
See also "The Use of Tile in the Interior Finish and Decoration of Hotels" by William Hagerman Graves in The Architectural Review, Vol. 2, No. 4, April 1913, pp. 47, 48, 82-84. (Scroll down to, and click on the pdf "file") 
Two photos of three murals in the McAlpin Hotel Grill Room can be found in the September 2011 Newsletter of the Friends of Terra Cotta.
Color photos taken in 2010 at the Broadway/Fulton Street subway station courtesy of Michael Padwee.
Submitted by and Year:
Submitted by Michael Padwee
 (tileback101"at"collector.org); April, 2011.


Signature: "FRED DANA MARSH"