Tiles of the Twin Ports
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Twin Ports: “Living with History”
By the beginning of the 20th Century, lumber, coal and iron had turned the Twin Ports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI into a metropolis. Some even conjectured the area would be the "Zenith of the North," and as large as Chicago. At one point the number of millionaires in relationship to the rest of the population was higher than in any other American city. The houses and buildings that were built are a wonderful cross section of the explosion of new architecture and craftsmanship of the Victorian period, and later the Arts and Crafts period. Sadly, some of these buildings are gone, but many fine examples still exist.
The Handmade Tile Association, LLC invites you to embark on a historical and contemporary treasure hunt of Minnesota and Wisconsin tiles. These gems of architectural adornment serve many purposes in our everyday lives. The major reasons for using tiles are their durability, functionality, and decorative beauty. Tiles are arguably one of the most versatile building materials in human history. With hundreds of color choices and unlimited sculptural and decorative possibilities, tiles have been a favorite building material for designers and artists from ancient times to the present. Today, while China, Italy, Spain, and Brazil lead the world in tile manufacturing, the United States is a leader in making exciting and innovative art tiles to walk and gaze upon. Explore Minnesota’s tile legacy and tell us what you think.
Twin Ports: “Living with History” is the second of a series of maps documenting the historical and contemporary tile installations of the Upper Midwest. The first map, “A Legacy of Tiles,” a guide to historical and contemporary tiles of Minnesota, is available by contacting the Handmade Tile Association.
Each map is an introduction to the history of art tiles in the region. For a full description and history of most sites visit www.handmadetileassociation.org. The web site will also have descriptions and updates as we learn more about each site. Find pictures of many of the buildings’ exteriors to help you identify them as you approach.
Do you know of a historic tile site or do you have historic tiles in your home or business? Please contact the HTA to add to our registry.
Karin Kraemer and Josh Blanc, Map Curators
First Edition Publication as a whole and maps, copyright 2006, Handmade Tile Association, LLC. All original artwork is copyrighted by the artists. All photography, copyright 2006, Karin Kraemer. Site compilation and all text, copyright 2006, Handmade Tile Association, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission of the copyright holders is prohibited. The publishers and editors disclaim all responsibility for damage or injury
Map Curators: Karin Kraemer and Josh Blanc
Cover: Tiffany-style fireplace. Manor on Creek B&B, Duluth
This map was made possible by a Doty Research Grant
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