“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Michigan City in Porter County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Made In Lafayette: An Experiment in Home Building

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

Made In Lafayette Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, June 14, 2019
1. Made In Lafayette Marker
Walter Scholer, an architect from Lafayette, Indiana, known for designing many buildings on Purdue University's campus, designed the Wieboldt-Rostone House. This Century of Progress Home was created to showcase Rostone, an exciting new material billed as “never needing repairs." Manufactured by Rostone, Inc., also of Lafayette, the material is composed of limestone, shale, and alkali. It showed such promise as a construction material that company founder David Ross contracted to build a house for the Chicago World's Fair in 1933. The company advertised that Rostone could be produced in a variety of colors and forms, including slabs and panels, to exact dimensions.

Rostone and the Indiana Bridge Company completed most of the design and fabrication work at a factory. The structure is comprised of steel beams and columns, with the exterior sheathed in precast Rostone panels. Preset bolts allowed the panels to be attached to the steel frame. Weighing 120-130 tons, the Rostone House was the heaviest of the structures relocated from the Fair site to Beverly Shores. Massive oak beams temporarily supported the
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concrete slab floors during the move, many of which are still in place in the basement. The Wieboldt Department Stores of Chicago and Evanston furnished the home's interiors.

The effects of nearby industry, including steel mills and refineries, along with lake-effect snows, rains, and quick changes in temperature, proved to be too much for Rostone. By 1950, environmental and industrial extremes caused it to severely deteriorate. The Rostone was then covered with Perma-stone, a popular concrete.

Visitors can see the restored Rostone panels surrounding the front door, in the interior entrance area, and around the living room fireplace. The Rostone House was restored using original blueprints discovered in the company archives just before they were destroyed. In Lafayette, there is still a block of Rostone houses that have their original exteriors.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & CommerceParks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical year for this entry is 1933.
Location. 41° 41.035′ N, 87° 0.12′ W. Marker is near Michigan City, Indiana, in Porter County. Marker is on West Lake Front Drive, 0.1 miles east of Dunbar Avenue
Made In Lafayette Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, June 14, 2019
2. Made In Lafayette Marker
, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 127 W Lake Front Dr, Michigan City IN 46360, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Florida House: Home, Cruise Ship, and More (within shouting distance of this marker); Century Of Progress Homes: Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); Century of Progress Homes (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); House Of Tomorrow: 'America's First Glass House' (about 300 feet away); A Showcase For Cypress (about 300 feet away); The Armco-Ferro House: Mass Produced And Affordable (about 300 feet away); Recipe for a Sand Dune (approx. 0.4 miles away); Whose Home Is It? (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Michigan City.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 1, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 480 times since then and 206 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 1, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 21, 2024