601-45 Walnut St., 215/238-6450
HOURS: Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–1 p.m.
Tiffany Studios and artist Maxfield Parrish combined artistic visions to brighten the Curtis Center lobby with the dazzling Dream Garden Mosaic. The 15-by-49-foot intricately designed mosaic combines light, glass, and color in a mesmerizing landscape. Louis Comfort Tiffany was hired to work with Philadelphian Parrish to execute a design based on Parrish’s painting The Dream Garden.
The mosaic was completed in 1916 and has been on display ever since—despite casino-owner Steve Wynn’s attempt to take it to Vegas. Wynn purchased the masterpiece in 1988, but public outcry inspired Pew Charitable Trust to pay $3.5 million to keep it in place.
The building was commissioned by Curtis Publishing, one of the largest and most influential publishers of the early 20th century. Curtis was responsible for the still-popular Ladies Home Journal, founded in 1883, and the Saturday Evening Post, which was founded in 1728 but purchased by Curtis in 1897.
Curtis Publishing operated out of this building, built in the 1890s, for many years. Since it is primarily an office building, the only reason to go is for a glimpse of the Dream Garden.