DOLAN BUFFET--SEATTLE, WA

Title of Installation:

Dolan Buffet

Materials Used:

Ceramic tiles

General Description:

    "The structural designing of this buffet was done by Bebb and Mendel, architects. The design and detail were Mr. [William W.] Kellogg's. ...the floors are all laid with 6x6 Welsh quarry tile, bright cherry red in color. The wall wainscott and bar front...[are] very dark and highly vitrified pavers. The walls are faced with...French quarries, made by the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works [of Doylestown, PA].

    "These tiled walls start, at the base, with dark red tones, purples and browns, and shade up, gradually, to very light orange reds, finishing at the top in a dentillated border or cap of glazed tile, ranging from blue to green, ... 
"Scattered about among the red tile of the wainscot are single tile modeled after ancient tile that were brought from Normandie. These are in unglazed red, with itaglios in unglazed greens, blues and blacks."1

Originally, the designer, William W. Kellogg, had a different tile and decorative scheme for the buffet:

    "The...original scheme...contemplates the carrying out of all the decorations in Aztec and Mayan motifs... . The tile work terminated in a heavy oak plate rail supported on brackets with modeled ends typifying the day signs of the Mayan Calendar. Above the rail was a broad stencilled frieze of the various religious and triumphal processions done in...decorative colorings used by the Aztecs... . Owing to the architects fearing that the scheme might prove too vivid in colorings and new in design this scheme was given up for more conventional decoration... ."2


Technical Information (Size,mfg., etc.):

The tiles were from Henry Mercer's3 Moravian Pottery and Tile Works of Doylestown, PA. William W. Kellogg was a tile distributor and designer in Seattle,4 and played an important part in the development of the Arts and Crafts movement in the Pacific Northwest according to Lawrence Kreisman and Glenn Mason.5

Year Created:

c. 1914

Year Installed, if different:

Does Installation Still Exist?

According to Larry Kreisman, the Program Director of Historic Seattle (www.historicseattle.org), the installation still exists as "the back room of Bakeman's, a popular lunch spot in the basement of the Hoge Building. ...While it's not in perfect condition, it still has most of the tile shown in the earlier photographs."6

Location of Installation:

The Hoge Building (1909-1911)

705 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA


"Built on the site of the first white settler's cabin, that of Carson Boren, this 18 story office tower was the city's second skyscraper, following the Alaska Building (1904) diagonally across the street. It was also the second Seattle structure to employ structural steel cage construction with light-colored brick and terra-cotta veneers. It broke all world's records for the rapidity with which the steel frame went up—the entire 18 stories were in place in 30 days. Prompted by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Hoge Building was also a pacesetter in using design and materials which met seismic requirements, Its facade fits easily into what Louis Sullivan termed the tall building "triumphant." Its base and crown are heavily ornamented in the Beaux Arts style—Corinthian pilasters, cartouches, medallions, and lion head corbels and a substantial cornice, all of molded terra-cotta. Contrasting sharply with the flamboyance of the lower floors and the topmost floors is a simple brick faced shaft of office floors. The Hoge and Alaska Buildings and the Smith Tower epitomize the new building forms made possible by structural steel, concrete, and the technology of the elevator. A 1994 renovation by GGLO led to removal of a later marble-faced entrance and reconstruction of the lobby and banking hall, with the unfortunate necessity of visible girders to seismically reinforce it."7

Additional Information, Websites, Citations:

1. J.H. Longfellow, "Burned Clay As an Imperishable Interior Decoration", Brick and Clay Record, Vol. XLVI, No. 4, Feb. 16, 1915, p. 348.

2. J.H. Longfellow, "Burned Clay As an Imperishable Interior Decoration", Brick and Clay Record, Vol. XLVI, No. 4, Feb. 16, 1915, p. 349.

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Chapman_Mercer

4. "By 1907 or 1908, Kellogg operated a studio, showroom and tile distributor business in the Moore Theater Building that became known as the Kellogg Studios. William Kellogg was the major local supplier of Rookwood tile as well as tile products made by other important American art pottery and tile fabricators including Grueby Faience Company of Boston, Ernest Batchelder of Pasadena and Mercer Tile Works of Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

William Kellogg is known to have provided art pottery tile products and layout designs

for specially commissioned Rookwood fireplace surrounds at the Sorrento Hotel, the

unidentified Oregon Hotel in Portland and the New Washington Hotel (1908,Josephinum) 

in Seattle. Reportedly, the Oregon Hotel included a tile fireplace surround

that was decorated with a scenic view of Mount Hood. The now destroyed Totem

Lounge at the New Washington Hotel (Josephinum) included a major tile commission; an

elaborate mantel and over mantel incorporating stylized Haida masks, tiles decorated

with a scenic view of Mount Rainier and polychromatic faience totems flanked by tile

clad walls with stylized trees.

An article in a 1911 edition of Pacific Builder and Engineer, described an exhibit of

products available from W.W. Kellogg, Inc. The exhibit “features Rookwood tiles and

faience, Moravian Tiles and mosaics and Giannini glass mosaics, all of which William

W. Kellogg, Inc. is the exclusive northwest agent.” The company is said to have

specialized in the decorative use of tiles and faience and the “laying out of fireplace and

other tile work to conform to architectural details and harmonize in style and color with

specified decorative schemes.” The company is said to have carried the largest

commercial stock in the region, specializing in the highest quality products. Kellogg

reported having supplied tile products and installation serves for various unidentified

projects in Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Other Seattle

installations are believed to have included the interior decorating studios of the Frederick

& Nelson Store (Rialto Building, destroyed) and the tile floors and window bulkheads at

Bauer’s Chocolate Shop (then located at 1208 Second Avenue).

A matte vellum green tile fireplace surround and scenic landscape tile panel for the over

mantel were specifically commissioned for the Sorrento Hotel main lobby. The tilework

is known to be Rookwood products provided and installed by W.W. Kellogg, Inc. The

over mantel includes distinctive decorated tiles depicting an Italian garden scene.

Rookwood is known to have been commissioned to create site specific faience tile

fireplace surround for the library of the John Leary residence constructed between 1904

and 1907. Executed by Rookwood artist John Wareham, it includes tiles depicting a

scenic view of Mount Hood with the Columbia River in the foreground and is similar in

character to the scenic tile panel commissioned for the Sorrento Hotel. It is believed that

John Wareham executed the Sorrento panel, as well. The Leary residence also includes a

Rookwood tile panel depicting a group of swans that is located in a guest bedroom and a

deep Rookwood tile frieze depicting water babies and mermaid-like children that was

commissioned for Mrs. Leary’s bathroom." (from pp. 30-31 at http://www.cityofseattle.net/neighborhoods/preservation/LPBCurrentNom_SorrentoHotelText.pdf)

5. Kreisman, Lawrence and Glenn Mason. The Arts and Crafts Movement in the Pacific Northwest, Timber Press, Portland, OR, 2007.

6. Email from Larry Kreisman to Michael Padwee dated 9/15/12, "Re: Upcoming tile blog posts".

7. Kreisman, Lawrence. Made to Last: Historic Preservation in Seattle and King CountyHistoric Seattle Preservation Foundation, 1999.

All photos were taken from "Burned Clay As an Imperishable Interior Decoration", the only article I could find that mentioned the Dolan Buffet. (Although this is not the highly decorated installation that Kellogg envisioned, is it totally forgotten?)

Submitted by and Year:

Submitted by Michael Padwee (tileback101'at'collector.org) in April 2012.


     One end of the Dolan Buffet