The renovation of Detroit’s historic former Women’s City Club building offers an opportunity to renew and preserve the many hand-crafted details within. Mary Chase Perry Stratton, who co-founded Detroit’s cherished Pewabic Pottery, made ceramic tile the decorative focal point of the ornate Arts and Crafts-style building during its development nearly 100 years ago.
Now, Pewabic Pottery senior designer Genevieve Sylvia and the company’s team of skilled artisans are working alongside Kraemer Design Group to restore the breathtaking tile installations that made Women’s City Club the jewel of downtown Detroit.
“This building is part of Detroit’s architectural fiber,” Sylvia said. “The revitalization of this majestic building through the partnership between Pewabic and Olympia Development of Michigan is meaningful, not only in Pewabic’s story, but the story of our city.”
The main entry of the building greets visitors with a shimmering arch of stylized green-and-blue leaf-shaped tiles with iridescent accents. In designing the building and tiles, Perry Stratton echoed this color palate throughout Pewabic’s installations, including the opulent blue-and-green swimming pool, the dining room windowsills and the decorative outdoor fountain on the fourth-floor garden terrace.
Learn more about the Pewabic tile installations throughout the former Women’s City Club building in the video below.
The former Women’s City Club is not the only building in The District Detroit with Pewabic tile. In 1999, Sylvia led Pewabic Pottery’s contribution to Comerica Park’s exterior, featuring tile baseballs, tigers and Olde English “D” logos in the team’s colors. Sylvia also worked on the installation at Little Caesars Arena: a 950-square-foot tile medley composed of more than 5,000 pieces of ceramic tile and large Red Wings medallions.
Other historic buildings undergoing restoration within The District Detroit include the former Hotel Eddystone and the former United Artists building. Recently, Olympia Development of Michigan, the City of Detroit and Cinnaire Solutions jointly announced a partnership to explore affordable housing options in The District Detroit. This exploration includes the potential revitalization of seven 1920’s-era historic buildings in the Cass Henry Historic District. The Ilitch organization also restored the magnificent Fox Theatre, now a National Historic Landmark, and moved the Little Caesars headquarters to the Fox Office Centre in 1987.