Michigan City in Porter County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
A Showcase For Cypress
'The Wood Eternal'
— Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore —
Unlike the ultra-modern homes of steel, stone, and glass constructed for the Century of Progress, the Cypress Log Cabin provided a refreshing contrast in terms of the material it was constructed with and its rustic design. Sponsored by the Southern Cypress Manufacturers' Association, the Cypress Log Cabin showcased "the many kinds and uses of cypress.” Known as "the wood eternal,” cypress is resistant to water and decay. Designed by Chicago architect Murray D. Hetherington, the house demonstrated the wood's durability and versatility, incorporating cypress siding, shakes, structural timbers, walls, flooring, window shades, and furnishings.
The whimsical exhibit at the fair, which engaged visitors' imaginations, included fences, pergolas, and bridges accented with decorated cypress knees carved to resemble animal heads and fantasy creatures. The exhibit educated visitors about all the wonderful things that could be created from cypress, and promoted the use of the material on behalf of companies that sold it. Even the garden adjacent to the house served as a workshop to show people how to carve and build
The main lodge featured cypress artifacts, including a 150-year-old Seminole Indian canoe, a confessional grating from 1828 used in a Catholic church in Louisiana, and a 100,000-year-old piece of cypress found under a Philadelphia subway. A second structure with overhead doors provided a demonstration space for craftsmen making items out of cypress. That building became known as the Guest House when it was relocated to Beverly Shores.
Ironically, the cabin was the only building used as a home at the Exposition. During both seasons of the Fair, Mr. and Mrs. B.R. Ellis from the Southern Cypress Association lived in the ell of the house, which contained the bedroom, hall, pantry, and bath.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Parks & Recreational Areas.
Location. 41° 41.033′ N, 87° 0.05′ W. Marker is in Michigan City, Indiana, in Porter County. Marker is on West Lake Front Drive 0.1 miles east of Dunbar Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 251 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. House Of Tomorrow: 'America's First Glass House' (here, next to this marker); The Armco-Ferro House: Mass Produced And Affordable (within shouting distance of this marker); Century of Progress Homes (within shouting distance of this marker); Century Of Progress Homes: Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); The Florida House: Home, Cruise Ship, and More (within shouting distance of this marker); Made In Lafayette: An Experiment in Home Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Recipe for a Sand Dune (approx. 0.3 miles away); Whose Home Is It? (approx. 0.3 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 TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 38 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 1, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.