Tile Conservation Workshop

October 7, 8 & 9 

The three-day Tile Conservation Workshop will include an introduction to tile fabrication, philosophy and a tour of Downtown’s tile heritage.   

The hands on workshop will restore and revive a prominent downtown tile façade that has been covered in paint for decades.  The program will deal with real world issues sounding tile cleaning, grouting, replacement and conservation. 

The workshop is limited to 20 participates.  Early registration is required.

A vegetarian lunch will be provided each day. 

Workshop cost: 75.00 | 65.00 for THPF members. 

More About the Hittinger/Los Angeles Furniture Building / J. C. Penny Building & Tiles

130 East Congress Street  

David and Jessie Holmes designed 130 East Congress Street in 1903.  The building on the southwest corner of Congress and Sixth Streets was commissioned by Anton Hittinger to house the Los Angeles Furniture Company.  A second story was added to accommodate the offices of the growing Randolph System.  The design was influenced by the Chicago School and is a example of twentieth century main street commercial architecture, with brick‑bearing walls and a cornice carried on brackets, supported by paired pilasters and capitals.

Anton Hittinger, a prominent mercantiler, and agreed to construct the block to house the merchandise of the Los Angeles Furniture Company, and then added a second story to accommodate the officers of the growing Randolph System (Epes Randolph headed the Randolph System which included a series of railroad lines extending across Southern Arizona and south into Mexico; these made possible much of Tucson’s early trade with Mexican towns to the South, particularly Cananea and Nogales.)  Though the interior has been renovated several times, the exterior remains essentially intact and affords an opportunity to study Holmes’s intent, for he has clearly differentiated between the functions.

The completely glassed first floor façade, now somewhat altered, allowed maximum display of the furniture and other merchandise.  The second story expresses the modular nature of the offices’ function.  Commercial classicism informs the common detailing of the period, with a strong expression of horizontality at the second story level and in the iron beams which frame the glass façade at the first floor level facing Congress Street.  This expression of horizontality, while used in much taller buildings, was characteristic of Chicago School designs.  The front façade was further opened to the street by the use of iron columns to support the over‑hanging bay.  A difference in the bay widths is expressed in the portion extending over the shop front and in the two end bays which were over the entry to the office level.  (Holmes and Holmes, Architects | Tucson, Arizona | 1905-1912)

The building was redesigned in June of 1927 by the J. C. Penny Company as Store No. 225.  The redesign included the recessed storefront window configuration and the addition of the yellow field tiles with black borders, and the mosaic tile entry floor.  

“J.C. Penny Company” was inlaid into the entryway floor in mosaic.  This was replaced by a “Aaron Brother” terrazzo inset.   The original type of tile work can been seen on the J.C. Penny Building in Bisbee, Arizona.

Today, the building houses the Chicago Music Store, a Tucson commercial landmark.

Over the years the tiles were painted, first gray, then green and finally red.  Over the course the weekend we will strip, clean and re‑grout these classic 1920s yellow and black architectural treasures and bring these colorful 1927 details back to Congress Street.  Demonstrations will include tile replacement and setting.