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Krebs brought her completed sketches back to St. Louis and made an appointment to see Streckfus.
She says, "I put the sketches up on a radiator in his office, and I tried to explain what I had done, but he just kept staring harder and harder and he didn't
say anything. I kept trying more and more to explain." She found out later that he didn't even hear a thing that she had been saying. Continuing she said, "I had put onto paper exactly what he wanted to do on the President--just like I had read his mind."
Krebs spent about seven months refining her sketches and then watching them come to life as the President was being built. She had used, to the hilt, a sleek, new Art Moderne style that she said "was really beginning to catch on" at that time in Chicago.
The President's big ballroom was done in shades of green. Much of the lighting was inside two graceful, translucent cowls that ran the length of the room. The powder rooms, too, were Art Moderne
extravaganzas, with decorative motifs to match their names--the Black and White, Copper and Jade, Plaid and Golden Petal rooms.
After the President was launched in 1933, Krebs took a five month vacation on a guest ranch. Shortly after she returned to St. Louis, Streckfus was back again. This time, he wanted to build and even bigger and better all-steel, luxury excursion boat.
This was to be the Admiral, and she was to design it all--the exterior and the interior, from the hull up. Krebs said that her ideas for the Admiral "just came naturally--out of my head."
She spent a year designing the exterior, then was free for about two years while that was being constucted on the riverfront. During the free period, she did a syndicated cartoon strip called "Cindy" that she sold through a New York agent. After the exterior of the
Admiral was finished, she spent the next two years working on the interior. "The Admiral took about five years to build, from start to finish" and no one was to say anything about it during that time.
It was a real mystery liner, and it was driving the newspapers crazy. They kept trying to get information about it and couldn't.
"Captain Joe used to say, "Make it pretty," and no expense was spared. We got a lot of the raw materials from Europe, particularly the crystal and glass. "I never did know what it cost to build, because they didn't talk about that. They would just say,
'We want the best.' I had a ball. I went all-out, and I enjoyed every minute of it. "Practically everything was custom-made. The mirrors in the Deanna (Powder Room), for example, were a peachy-pink color, to give a rosy glow. They were really pretty.
The corrugated walls were covered with a specially ordered, white leatherette, and then musical notes were hand-painted by artists over that. The room was named for Deanna Durbin, a singer at that time, and the notes were copied from one of her popular scores. "The glass and crystal in the Sonja (Henie) Room
was all imported....various-sized snowflakes were painted, by hand, onto the dark, midnight blue walls and the ceiling. The floor was a glazed, very shiny white tile, to look like ice."
The big ballroom originally had walls covered with off-white leatherette. Large symbols of the "zodiac" were hand-painted onto the ceiling in luminous paint, and tiny electric lights were installed. "I wanted it to be like dancing beneath the stars."
After the Admiral was finished, Krebs went back to Chicago. She worked at a variety of design-related jobs, including ones at the Museum of Science and Industry and the Joanna Western Mills Firm. She designed interiors for restaurants and candy shops
and worked on retainers from several corporations. Later she moved to California and was married.
TAKEN FROM HER OBITUARY
"Marie Krebs; Designed Admiral, President
Mazie Krebs, designed of the Admiral and President excursion riverboats, died Thursday (July 8, 1991) at a nursing home in Santa Clara, Calif., after suffering from cancer. She was 93.
Miss Krebs began her career as an industrial designer after attending Washington University School of Fine Arts.
She worked in Los Angeles and Chicago in advertising, interior design, decorating and architectural design before returning to St. Louis.
She created a syndicated comic strip series named :"Cindy," but gave it up after two years because it took up too much time.
Her ideas for the Admiral and President came from her discussions with Capt. Joe Streckfus, whose company owned the boats. She was responsible for the interior as well as the exterior designs in the 1930s.
Miss Krebs was active as a designed until she retired in the 1970s.
She had been a resident of California for about 15 years.
She was married for several years to Abe Lubfin; he died in the early 1980's.
A private funeral service and burial were held Tuesday in St. Louis.
There are no immediate survivors."
****The following information was found on the net-via
RiverRat....thank you for supplying the following information.
It appears that the obituary has kind of different information
verses what is found under the Social Security Death Index.
Mazie was born March 6,
1900. she died 8 Jul 1993 in Calif. buried in St
Louis as you said. she Married Abe Lubfin b. 24 Dec
1891 d. Apr. 1978 in Santa Clara, Calif. Mazie's
mother was Jeanette Steinberg. born 1878 Jeanette's
second husband was George Foster.
Mazie and Abe birth and death dates come from the
Social Security death index and her mother was found
by punching in Mazie's name in a search engine.****
All backgrounds are the sole property of me
(Fiddlinsue). They are not to leave this site. They
were created using PSP 7 and Super Blade Pro.
The above story was taken from the Streckfus
Steamers magazine-dated 1934-1935
The images used on this page were saved
in a scrapbook that my mother had compiled as
a youngster. There was no dates or information
as to where she obtained them from.
©Fiddlinsue--October 18, 2002