Monday, June 11, 2012

Mosaic Monday II: Manhattan Beach

Today's second post is on the oceanic or beachy mosaic at 13th and Morningside in Manhattan Beach. I'm told this little place--concreted, with benches and plants--is called the 13th Street Square Park, or 13th Street Square Performance Space. Or even 13th Street Behind Metlox Plaza. Hard to get information on a place with so many names!

It's actually the northwestern plot of that shopping plaza that was built on the old Metlox Pottery site, which operated in Manhattan Beach from 1927 to 1989.

 Wikipedia has a writeup on Metlox, here.  The Our South Bay ezine had an article with pictures about Metlox in their 2011 summer issue.

Turns out the name was a blend of "metallic" and "oxide": two components of glazing pigments.

And...holy cow! Metlox made all my Mom's ivy-patterned serving dishes! I did not know that. (This dish and hundreds of other examples of Metlox wares are for sale at TheFind)

Originally, Metlox was part of Proutyline Products. For a long time, it was the biggest manufacturing concern in the city. But Metlox filed for bankruptcy and closed, leaving a 3 acre lot contaminated by the lead used in making their pottery. In the 90s, it was cleaned up. Only recently--within the past 8 or 10 years--has a trendy shopping center with grassy areas and fountains opened on the spot.

Who designed this mosaic? If I learn the answer, I will add to this post!

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