ALASKA MANTEL, TOTEM POLE LOUNGE, NEW WASHINGTON HOTEL--SEATTLE, WA
Title of Installation:
Rookwood faience tiles
Designed by Marx and Jones, decorators and architects of St. Louis, MO* in 1907-1908 and manufactured at the Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati, OH, the Alaska Mantel was created to commemorate the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, which was to take place in Seattle in 1909. The mantel was installed in the "Totem Pole" room of the newly built New Washington Hotel on the corner of Second and Stewart Streets. The fireplace, which cost about $1250 in 1908, had two faience totem poles. "The totem pole on the left is modeled after the Seattle totem pole, and the one on the right is a replica of the Chief Shakes pole at Wrangell, Alaska."**
Technical Information (Size,mfg., etc.):
Constructed of Rookwood Faience Tiles
Year Installed, if different:
Does Installation Still Exist?
If Not, What Happened?
According to Lynette Basta, Communications Director of the Christ Our Hope Church, "This mantel is no longer at the Josephinum or at Christ Our Hope." (email from Ms. Basta to Michael Padwee, 12/15/11, Re: Question about historic tile installation) This has been confirmed by Larry Kreisman of Historic Seattle in an email to me (3/6/2012) in which he states: "I discussed the...[mantel] with Ron Murphy, who did some major remodel work in the building in the 1980s. He does not recall any evidence of the Totem Lounge when they went in. That means that it was dismantled in the earlier remodeling of the interiors dating from the 1960s. I’m fairly sure that during that period, this stuff was simply sent to the dump rather than salvaged... ."
Location of Installation:
1902 Second Street
Directions to Installation:
Additional Information, Websites, Citations:
"The Josephinum, located at 1902 Second Avenue and historically known as the New Washington Hotel, was designed by the architecture firm Eames and Young in 1907. The luxury hotel was built in anticipation of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909. At 14 stories high, it contained 250 guest rooms, a marble-finished lobby and dining room, and a large ballroom. The building was purchased by the Catholic Archdiocese in 1963 for use as low-income housing. And in 1988, it was designated a City of Seattle Landmark, in part because of its ornate terra cotta detailing and the distinctive arched main floor windows.
This year, the Archdiocese rehabilitated the building's elegant ballroom for use as a chapel and established a new parish. Christ Our Hope Church will continue to share the building with approximately 220 low-income residents." ("Beautiful landmark graces Belltown" by Sarah Sodt, Landmarks Preservation Board Coordinator, http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/news/newsletter2011winter.htm#landmark)
*The Mantel Tile and Grate Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 8, February 1910, p. 25.
**Seattle's Historic Hotels by Robin Shannon, p. 22
***The Mantel Tile and Grate Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 7, January 1910, p. 27.
An important resource for a full exposition of the Arts and Crafts movement in the Pacific Northwest, which also discusses this installation, is The Arts and Crafts Movement in the Pacific Northwest by Lawrence Kreisman and Glenn Mason (Timber Press, Inc., Portland, OR, 2007).
Picture Post Cards courtesy of http://www.CardCow.com
Submitted by and Year:
Submitted by Michael Padwee (tileback101"at"collector.org) in February 2011.