Sunday, September 27, 2015

Moravian Pottery and Tile Works

After all these years of driving by this magnificent building and never having stopped, it was well worth the trip to the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. Right down the road from Henry Mercer's Fonthill Castle, this building is also a concrete masterpiece. Mr. Mercer obviously had a thing for concrete and tiles.

This is one of the rooms directly next to the gift shop on the first floor. The tour began with a short video explaining the history of the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. 

My dad would go nuts for all the old tools hanging on these walls and throughout the building.  

This is a work space in the corner of the same room on the first floor. What a nice space!

~ Tiles ~

~ Tiles ~

~ And more tiles ~

 This room houses many of the large furnaces used for firing the tiles.

~ Molds for tile making ~

~ More molds ~

~ A view looking outside ~

This is a view from the outside balcony looking toward the highway. 

This is a view from the balcony looking toward Fonthill Castle. 

~ Concrete and tiles ~


~ Smokestack ~


 ~ A closeup of the same smokestack ~

Only an artist would put this much attention to detail into a smokestack. Way to go, Mr. Mercer!

~ The last room on the tour ~

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fonthill Castle

As my friend noted on Friday when we visited Henry Mercer's Fonthill Castle, "I have a new appreciation for concrete." If you want to see concrete, concrete, and more concrete, make it a point to visit Fonthill Castle, the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, and the Mercer Museum, all of which are in Doylestown, PA.

Built between 1908 and 1912, Henry Mercer's Fonthill Castle is made of hand-mixed concrete.  Many of the rooms contained built-in desks made of concrete.  Fonthill Castle contains 44 rooms, 18 fireplaces, 32 staircases, and over 200 windows.

Rooms are decorated with Mr. Mercer's handcrafted tiles and tiles from all around the world. I enjoyed seeing the Delft tiles in one of the main rooms on the first floor as it brought back good memories from a trip to The Netherlands.


 ~ The lush, green grounds of Fonthill Castle ~

Afraid of the threat of fire, Henry Mercer chose to build Fonthill Castle out of concrete. Concrete, however, holds the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter. Only a few of the rooms now contain air conditioning. It was a bit warm throughout the castle, but not uncomfortable.

I'm most certain this is the carriage house. You can rent this building for special occasions, such as weddings.

I was able to sneak a picture from the inside of this building. 

This is a view of the back of Fonthill Castle from an outside terrace overlooking the grounds.

~ Another view from the back terrace ~

~ Another view from the back terrace overlooking part of the castle and part of the carriage house ~

Look at that beautiful, blue Bucks County sky!

~ The tree-lined drive leading to and from Fonthill Castle ~

Thursday, August 13, 2015


The baby showed up during the week of July 15. She hasn't left since.

She's an adorable, little baby.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Pagoda

I've always admired the Pagoda from a distance but never had time to visit. The main purpose for today's drive to Reading was for one purpose: to visit the Pagoda.  

The Pagoda stands 620 feet above the City of Reading, PA. Completed in 1908, it was originally intended to be a luxury resort atop Mt. Penn. Due to financial problems, William A. Witman, Sr. never opened the Pagoda.

The citizens and the City of Reading have owned the Pagoda since 1911.

The views from the Pagoda are phenomenal. 

The Pagoda is seven stories high.

There are 87 steps to the top of the Pagoda.

The bell on the top floor was cast in Japan in 1739, and William A. Witman, Sr. purchased the bell in 1906. The bell was shipped to New York and arrived in Reading in 1907 by rail.

~ A view from the top floor of the Pagoda looking west over Reading ~

~ The stairs going down from the top floor ~

Check out the colors.

~ A gold fish on top of the roof ~

The walls of the Pagoda are five feet thick at the base.

~ Another view overlooking Reading, PA ~

~ Reading, PA ~