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11/13/2018 01:47 AM
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Benjamin Franklin


Pierced Tin

Walking on Moravian Tiles in the Capitol Building


When Joseph Huston was passing out commissions for the artwork of his Capitol, Henry Chapman Mercer approached him with plans for the building’s first floor. He thought his folk art Moravian tiles would be the perfect touch to complement the marble walls. He submitted a floor plan that traced the history of the Commonwealth from prehistory to the present with the north of the building as the beginning of the timeline, a design idea Huston loved. When the floor was completed, it became the largest piece of artwork in the building.

The Capitol Building holds the largest collection of Mercer tiles, but it is by no means the most famous. The Monte Carlo Casino, Rockefeller’s New York estate in Pocantico Hills, and Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood all boast floors comprised of Mercer tiles.