One of the things I love about New York are the many idiosyncratic design features that exist throughout the city. Features like the green globes that still mark Subway entrences, or the well-aged mosaic tiles that decorate stations. So somehow for that reason, it seemed entirely logical to me that what my apartments maligned fireplace needed, was a full subway tile upgrade, taken to it's logical, if whimsical, conclusion.


The finished product, with the original and restored marble for the hearth, and a hand-made mosaic sign, creating a custom station stop in the home. Though the fireplace and the apartment are situated almost directly above top the Lafayette C train Station, I decided to make my homes station an original, and chose "S. Portland", the streets name. 

This project, which was conceived in minutes in the sketch above, would wind up taking over a year from start to finish, with many fun surprises along the way. For one, who knew there was original marble underneath there? And Second, when exactly should mention any this to my land lord?

The Process

Basically one thing lead to another, and before we knew it, we couldn't go back. "We", here referring to the cat and myself. First the existing fireplace—which appeared have been literally slapped together with great gobs of plaster—needed to be dismantled. That lead to the discovery of some buried treasure in the form of a marble slap, the original hearth, which had been long ago covered in concrete, tile and brown paint. That took days to scrub and restore. Then a new structure was constructed and tiled, and the original iron arch installed. Finally it was time to create the mosaic, which was assembled (slowly) on a table, before being installed in sections. 

The Design and Future ProjectS

This was my first mosaic, and the design was kept relatively simple. In the future I would like produce more complex designs, with color and imagery, and continue to explore this traditional mediums potential.