The building is located right in the heart of downtown off I 375 on the edge of the area known as the Old Northeast, a neighborhood constructed of Craftsmen style buildings. It is owned by the Two Red Roses Foundation, named after a poem by William Morris titled: “Two Red Roses Across the Moon”
Architect Alberto Alfonso created a beautiful modern showcase utilizing many of the materials and crafts that were popular during the 1890’s to early 1920’s era of the Craftsmen movement. These included quarter sawn oak flooring, ceramic tiles, and the most unique feature, a spiral staircase that wound from the second to fifth floors made with a covering of Venetian plaster that was very smooth and touchable—it was one of the objects that you could touch. It reminded me of a snail shell.
The architect kept it contemporary in style so that the building would not conflict with focusing on the artwork. The lobby featured a 60 ft. long 600 piece circa 1914 Rookwood Pottery ceramic tile mural of sailing ships that had never been installed before its addition to the building.
The oval shaped rooms of the southwest corner of each floor featured the best pieces of the Museum’s collection including furniture, lamps, and ceramics.
I was particularly fascinated by the reconstructed 1914 Iris bath room from a suburban Cleveland Ohio home that was going to be razed. A tiny jewel box of a bathroom for the woman of the house was constructed with beautiful blue, white, yellow, and green terracotta ceramic tiles by Grueby Faience and Tile Company that had stylized irises molded into the tiles.
When the house was ready to be razed, experts went in and carefully numbered and removed each tile for the reconstruction. They also had the floor of the Aloha Landing boathouse, also by Grueby Tile as well along with several rooms that were rescued from demolition.