At the West Entrance on O. Henry Avenue entrance, you will find an Arabesque metal screen.
It is one of the most pronounced expressions of the Arcade’s Venetian Gothic style. The pattern goes back to Mahometan trellises, carvings and tile work, which avoid graven images and celebrate geometry in nature.
The exterior of the building is covered in terra cotta tiles. Terra cotta, fired clay, is an ancient material that had been revived in Renaissance Italy and then again in late 19th century America for its fireproofing and decorative qualities. Grove was a stickler about sanitation and fire prevention — like many progressives of his era who lived through urban epidemics and the Chicago fire of 1871. To protect steel frame construction, terra cotta was cheaper and lighter than stone.