The Dream Garden

By Washington Square in the Curtis building is a 15 by 49 foot favrile glass mosaic. The light and colors were brought to you by the studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The mosaic is based on a painting by Maxfield Parish.

This masterpiece is about a 16 minute walk from City Hall (one of our favorite buildings) in Philadelphia. It won’t take a lot of time to check it out and honestly I always kind of feel like I’m intruding when we have a look see because they are always set up for an event. But it is open to the public to come and admire this work of art which was commissioned by Cyrus Curtis, the publisher of The Saturday Evening Post.

The Dream Garden has been on display since 1916 in the lobby of the Curtis building. Unfortunately, not many know of it’s existence except for those who like to walk off the beaten path. It won’t take much time and if you’d like to have a look-see, take a few extra minutes (it’s across the street from Independence National Historical Park) to admire the beautiful lobby, you will not be disappointed. It’s open Monday-Saturday.

It is one of three works ever produced by Tiffany studios of this size. The piece is composed of 24 panels and took 6 months to install. In 1998, The Dream garden was put up for sale and Steve Wynn, the casino guy tried to purchase it. A citywide cry from Philly canceled the deal (whew!) and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts purchased it to make sure it remains where you see it today.

For history about The Curtis Building click here.

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5 thoughts on “The Dream Garden

  1. I had no idea Tiffany produced a glass mural of this scale. I’ve seen his windows, but nothing like this. I love the way they’ve lit the mural to show the colors and give the feeling of depth. Is the Curtis Building like a hotel or some sort of venue for receptions? I see the buffet tables set up and can’t help wondering if it’s for a wedding reception or a club luncheon. 🙂

    1. I can’t tell if it’s condos or an office building. The first floor is commercial space, PJ Clarkes is opening soon. I think it may be an office building. They always host receptions in this lobby and I always feel like I’m intruding! I’ve been trying to get a pic of the lobby without the reception set up but there’s always something going on! It does make a very nice place to celebrate.

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