Manufacturers: Maddock Pottery and Scammell China
User: Morton Hotel – Grand Rapids, Michigan
Date of examples: circa 1923-1954
Notes: Located on the corner of Monroe Avenue and Ionia Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the 13-story, 200-room and bath, Morton Hotel opened November 3, 1923. It contained the 42'by 58' main dining room, the Fountain Room, three private dining rooms, the Florentine Ballroom, a banquet room, and, in the basement, a 51' by 63' English Grill. The December 1923 issue of Hotel Monthly contains an article about the opening of the Morton. It describes the 242-seat English Gill as appearing as it had been built four hundred years ago, with brick walls and beamed ceiling.
In 1972, the Morton was converted into subsidized housing and renamed Morton House Apartments. That closed in 2011 and the building remained empty until 2014, when Rockford Construction began a major renovation and restoration, transforming it into about 100 one- and two-bedroom apartments and hotel rooms.
The China that the Lamberton Works made for the Morton is crested with a four-part shield in blue and dark red, with a crown and boar's head on top. The service plate, made by Maddock, has a decal illustration of a colonial couple in the center of the well. The border contains four horse drawn coach scenes. Between the coach scenes are gray illustrations of a colonial woman, colonial man, and flower basket. With the exception of the Morton crest, this is a design that Maddock used on service plates for other customers. Other pieces in the Morton china service have the crest fitted into a decal panel border that contains winged griffin and scrolls. Scammell made plates in this pattern, first on white body and later on Ivory body china.
Jharger.com – April 1, 2014, updated April 3, 2019, article by Jim Harger about the restoration, with 27 photos
MortonHotelgr.com – the dog friendly hotel's website
Hotel Management trade journal – December 1923 – 11-page article about Morton opening and equipment
Author and photos: Larry Paul