Building 51 | Building 51 | c. 1920’s chicago lakeshore drive athletic club baked enameled red clay “crab” wall-mount interior pool room tile – mosaic tile company, zanesville, oh.
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c. 1920’s chicago lakeshore drive athletic club baked enameled red clay “crab” wall-mount interior pool room tile – mosaic tile company, zanesville, oh.



Chicago Buildings

About This Item

very unique and unusual c. 1920’s original brightly colored enameled earthenware flush mount “crab” tile designed and fabricated by the mosaic tile company, zanesville, oh. the unusual tile was salvaged from the lakeshore drive athletic club pool room walls. residual mortar from the backside of the fired clay tile has been removed. the original monogrammed stamp remains intact. the single red clay tiles remains in great overall condition, considering age. minor surface wear evident from one tile to the next. very limited number available for sale. the historically important 19-story towering beax-arts style lakeshore athletic club building was designed by renowned chicago architect jarvis hunt in 1927. the extant chicago landmark is located on a prominent corner along the shores of lake michigan. the interior boasted a gargantuan marble-clad lobby, with ornamented bronze chandeliers and gilded plasterwork. in addition, the building contained stunning ballrooms, a reading room and a pool room bedecked with nautical-themed polychromatic enamel tiles found along the walls and floors surrounding the pool. in 1928, the lakeshore athletic club received national attention when it hosted the 1928 olympic swimming trials, where gold medalist and future holywood actor johnny weissmuller qualified for the olympic games being held in amsterdam. during the late 1970’s (and after falling into disrepair), the outdated building was purchased by northwestern university for use as a dormitory for the ir students for the next several years. after changing ownership again in 2008-9, the then-abandoned building received a major overhaul in preparation for conversion into luxury apartments. each earthenware tile with polychromatic enameled glaze contain nautical-themed scenes featuring various sea creatures in vibrant colors. the tiles were configured in “sets” of 7 continuous tiles in the order depicted below. the flush mount wall tiles were on each of the walls facing the pool. after we carefully removed mortar from one of the salvaged tiles, we found a lightly incised encircled monogram that turned out to be the mark of the mosaic tile company of zanesville, oh. the company was established in 1894 by karl langerbeck and herman mueller. notable potter, frederick hurten rhead, work for the company from 1922-23. a vast selection of ornamental and plain tiles were fabricated in their factories until 1959. the company ultimately closed in 1967. measures 4 x 4 inches.