Between 2015 and 2016, I completed a large-scale commission of 29 original screen prints for the new Hilton Hotel in Downtown Cleveland as the hotel construction was underway. This project focused on the history and architecture of downtown, in the areas surrounding the new hotel, specifically focusing on The Mall and The Burnham Plan.
This suite of original hand printed screen prints was completed and installed for the hotel’s grand opening in the Summer of 2016. Hung salon style, the prints ranged in size from 10” x 13.5” at the smallest to 60” x 44.5” at the largest. The collection can be found on the 4th floor of the hotel (access using escalator).
Palette studies. We decided on a cool, muted but sophisticated palette of blues and navy, popping with an added gold shimmer ink – printed on Steel Grey paper and accented with white matting.
I used original photographs as the basis for the screen prints, combined with a few historic maps and archival aerials of the downtown area. Photographs were manipulated into various halftones and flats in order to screen print, with multiple layers printed on each piece. Again, the imagery was kept central around downtown, with some extension out into nearby areas, with focus given to Public Square, The Mall, and the area near the new Hilton Hotel per the client’s request.
I tried to offer a mix of highly recognizable landmarks (bridges, major buildings, sculptures, etc.) as well as finer details to give the flavor and feel of our city. I abstracted some of the photographs due to the angle of shooting or viewpoint.
Specific imagery featured in the print suite from photographs: Public Auditorium and background buildings (including new Hilton Hotel mid-construction), Soldiers & Sailors Memorial, Public Square, Detroit-Superior Bridge, Fountain of Eternal Life with Public Library, Court Clerk Building and Huntington Building behind it, overhead view of rotunda glass in Trust Building (now downtown Heinen’s), building facades (City Club and others found approximately one block south of The Mall).
Since they are such a crucial part of the makeup of our city and it’s layout, I incorporated the lake and river using historic maps and aerials.
I was lucky to find original drawings for much of the stone work and frieze decoration in Public Square and utilized those in these designs and patterns. I also love the lettering on many of the historic maps and atlases and incorporated them as well (all public domain imagery from the Cleveland Library Map Room archives).
Imagery featured in print suite from archival library materials (big thanks to the Map Room at the Downtown Cleveland Library for assisting me with my research): aerial map of The Mall and Public Square area and a historic line map overlay of the same area, Cleveland 1796 insignia shield seal (drawing from stone carvings in Public Square), mid-century illustrated layout of the mall (with building names), overlay of frieze illustrations from blueprints for Public Square, ‘Wards 2 & 3 Cleveland’ overlay from vintage map.