Manufacturer: Scammell China and Shenango China
Distributor: Reichle Sons for Scammell China
User: The Whittier Hotel – Detroit, Michigan
Date of examples: circa 1924 – 1967
Notes: The Whittier apartment hotel, on East Jefferson and Burns Drive in Detroit, Michigan, opened in two stages. The eight-story building opened February 15, 1923. The 15-story tower section opened in April 1926.The marble-columned River Front Room was the main dining room. There were private dining rooms, a ballroom, coffee shop, and cocktail lounge. The apartment kitchenettes were furnished with chinaware and meals could be ordered from the dining room commissary.
In 1963, Swedish industrialist Ivar Quarnstrom bought the Whittier and began a major renovation that included a rooftop restaurant. Quarnstrom died in a plane crash in 1966. The hotel was sold to the Michigan Baptist Convention in 1969. The Whittier is listed in the 1969 Hotel Red Book, with 785 rooms. It is not listed in 1972. It was converted into senior housing known as Whittier Towers Retirement Center. Financial problems forced Whittier Towers to close in 2001. In 2009, the eight-story section was reopened as condos. As of 2022, the 15-story section remains vacant.
Scammell and Shenango made china that is crested with an ornate frame around an outlined "W." The frame is a stylized version of the entrance doors to the Whittier. Blue and orange lines flank the logo, mid rim. On Scammell and early Shenango pieces there are green pin lines flanking the blue line. Later Shenango pieces do not have the green pin lines. Reichle Sons Co. supplied the Scammell Lamberton China. Shenango china contains back stamps with date codes as recent as 1967.
Detroit Public Library website – exterior and interior photographs from the Burton Collection
Photos: Marianne Ramona and Colleen Stasek
Author: Larry Paul