Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Word on the "Tiffany" Dome

Dome in El Paso's historic
El Camino Real hotel
Photo: THC
For some time, the stained glass dome in El Paso's historic El Camino Real hotel has been a "go to" site for visitors and residents of the city.  It graces the bar of the hotel beautifully.  Long called a "Tiffany" dome, there's been some speculation about its origin. 

Our Texas Mountain Trail board members from El Paso are dilgent in supporting the city's history, and knowing rumor and and they're terrific champions of the truth.  Turns out the "Tiffany" dome is really a Tiffany-style dome.

Thanks to TMT Board President Emeritus, Bernie Sargent, and Prince McKenzie of the Railroad and Transportation Museum of El Paso for scouting out the truth.  From Prince McKenzie:

"My mentor Dr. Clarke Garnsey, Prof. Emeritus, Art Dept. TWC/UTEP, was retained by Franklin Land to evaluate the dome, as they began the building restoration of the hotel. Having been trained at the Cleveland Art Institute, he knew what I D marks to look for and where, and he believed the dome to be designed by a Chicago studio and positively not Tiffany.

Later as a Curator at the Art Museum, I studied the various stained glass windows of the W. H. Turney Home and identified all the makers except one. I identified windows designed by Trost, and even had one restored. The big problem for me was the great Palladian stained glass window on the grand staircase of the Turney Home. I believed it to be the same maker as the dome of the Paso del Norte because of three factors; same period, same quality and same architect.

Now I believe you have found the answer. Garnsey told Franklin Land not to describe it as a Tiffany but stated that it was of equal quality. After the building was sold the new owners could not resist making the Tiffany claim in their advertising."

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