Historic Installations

Frederick Lee Colby (and Virginia Baker) residence., garden fountain, 188 Parker, by Albert Kahn, 1909.


Bethel Evangelical Church
Mayflower Institutional Missionary Baptist Church 2270 W. Grand Blvd. at Linwood
Detroit, Michigan

This 1928 memorial mosaic mural was given by the Matthai family in memory of Miss Lousie Edna Matthai, It was a generous gift by her father, Konrad Matthai, her sisters, and her brother. The mural was designed by Gwen Lux; who was 16 years old at the time. Gwen Lux later became a world famous sculptor. In 1928 Gwen was under the tutelage of Mary Chase Stratton, and the mural was executed at Pewabic Pottery.

The figures of Mary and Martha flanking the figure of Jesus Christ symbolize two aspects of religion: worship and service. The scene is reminiscent of the visit of Jesus to Simon the Leper in Bethany at the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. The motif is symbolic rather than descriptive.Historic Pewabic Day books indicate that in 1927 the total cost of the mosaic installation was $6,000.00


Senator James Couzens, garden fountain, Longfellow, by Albert Kahn, 1910.


Detroit Public Library fireplace. Designed by Cass Gilbert, the Detroit Public Library was constructed in 1921 using Vermont marble and serpentine Italian marble trim in an Italian Renaissance style. According to historic Pewabic Pottery Day Books, the Pewabic tile fireplace surround in the Children’s Reading room was installed in 1926 at a cost of $520.00.


Most Holy Redeemer
1721 Junction,
Detroit, Michigan

At one time, Most Holy Redeemer was considered the largest Catholic parish in North America, and probably the largest English-speaking parish in the entire world. Holy Redeemer Parish once included more than 4,000 active families with 2,000 children enrolled in the schools. There were 15 masses offered on Sundays in order to accommodate the needs of the nearly 9,000 people who worshiped there each week. On Tuesdays, devotions to Our Mother of Perpetual Help began at 6am and ran continuously throughout the day, with special streetcars added to the city transit schedule just to get the public to and from Holy Redeemer Church. Records indicate that between 18,000 and 19,000 people participated in these devotions on a weekly basis.

Most Holy Redeemer's impressive architecture dominates the neighborhood from the corner of West Vernor and Junction. The red brick Roman basilica-style church features Pewabic tile murals and lunettes; one reading: "Ecce Legnum Cruces" (Behold the Wood of the Cross), the other "Gloria in Excelsis" (Glory in the Highest). Inside, the floors are unglazed terra cotta with glazed ecclesiastical tiles, symbolic of the apostles Matthew (the angel), Mark (the lion), Luke (the ox), and John (the eagle).Historic Pewabic Pottery Daybooks list a 1922 floor tile installation totaling $12,560.65


North Woodward Congregational Church*
Woodward and Blaine, Detroit, Michigan

The North Woodward Congregational Church is a red brick and limestone trimmed, cross-gable roofed, Neo Gothic style church built in stages between 1907 and 1929. The cruciform shaped structure is notable on Woodward Avenue because of it is lacking a tower or a lantern. The projecting front gable wall contains a large Gothic stained glass window, which dominates the Woodward Avenue facade. Extending from the front wail back to the projecting transept on the south side of the main block is a buttressed brick and limestone vestibule containing the main entrance.

The North Woodward Congregational Church, designed by member Hugh Clement, was the earliest church to be built on Woodward north of Grand Boulevard, in a district soon to be known as Piety Hill because of the number and variety of churches in close proximity. The cornerstone was laid on January 6, 1911, and the congregation moved in on February 5, 1912. The church has seating for 2,500 persons. The largely unaltered church stands as a locally significant example of Neo Gothic architecture.

When the city's population shifted as a result of the Great Depression of the 1930’s, and with the influx of factory workers during World War II, much of the membership of the congregation left the city. In 1953 it sold the building to St. John Christian Methodist Episcopal church. St. Johns Methodist Episcopal Church (organized on July 8, 1917), was the first church of its denomination in Detroit, and had several homes before becoming the first African American congregation to worship on Woodward Avenue's Piety Hill. In 1969 the church became the St. John's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Historic Pewabic Pottery Day Books indicate that Pewabic tile installations totaled $1,267.00 in 1926, and $1,385.00 for "Lunettes" in 1928.


Old Main Drinking Fountain
This drinking fountain was donated by Mrs. Stratton in 1938 in honor of her husband.