A Downtown Pompeian Villa

In the 1950s the luxurious Congress Hotel on South Michigan Avenue installed a Pompeian Room designed to emulate one of villas uncovered at the celebrated Roman archaeological site near Naples. It featured  murals by Chicagoan Louis Grell in the style of the wall paintings at Pompeii  and a glass fountain of Mt. Vesuvius by Louis Tiffany.


The Jupiter Mural in the Pompeii Room

From the Louis Grell Foundation: “Grell was… commissioned to paint 3 large walls for the Pompeian Room in 1955… and included three mythological panels and decorative designs throughout each wall. Jupiter on his throne (south wall), the Abduction of Europa (north wall) and Bacchus (east wall) scenes were rendered by Grell.  Two walls were 50 feet long, the panel of Bacchus was on a wall 26 feet long. Installed on March 4, 1955, a large magnificent white Peacock executed by Grell was displayed behind the bar inside the Peacock Bar, adjacent to the Pompeian room. The Pompeian Room red menu [below] is from 1955 and describes the three main murals on the reverse side, is signed by Grell and part of the Louis Grell Foundation collection of archives.”


The Tiffany Fountain in the Pompeii Room




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