West Baden Springs in Orange County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Eighth Wonder of the World Revived
From its construction in 1902 to its closure as a resort hotel casino after the stock market crash of 1929, West Baden Springs Hotel's 200' free-span atrium dome was known as the Eighth Wonder of the World. After 1929 it housed a multitude of uses from a Jesuit seminary to a small technical college, but slowly fell into a state of disrepair, virtual abandonment and threatened demolition. After the collapse of two six-story outer wall sections, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana (now Indiana Landmarks) sponsored emergency stabilization to prevent further degradation. In 1996, Landmarks bought the property and subsequently resold it, passing on the formidable task of restoration to the late Bloomington entrepreneur Bill Cook. The Cook family has not only restored West Baden Springs Hotel, but also the equally grand Historic French Lick Springs Hotel as a world class resort and the basis of the Springs Valley renaissance.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Entertainment Industry & Commerce • Parks & Recreational Areas. In addition, it is included in the National Historic Landmarks series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1902.
Location. 38° 34.022′ N, 86° 36.849′ W. Marker is in West Baden Springs, Indiana, in Orange County. Marker is on West Baden Avenue just west of Broadway Street (Indiana Route 56), on the right when traveling west. Marker is located beside the walkway on the right side of the West Baden Springs archway. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8538 West Baden Avenue, West Baden Springs IN 47469, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Traveling in Style: The Monon Connection (within shouting distance of this marker); West Baden Depot (within shouting distance of this marker); Springs Valley Bank & Trust Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Archway (within shouting distance of this marker); Brick Drive (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Golf Courses (about 500 feet away); Apollo: Spring No. 3 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sprudel: Spring No. 7 (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Baden Springs.
Regarding The Eighth Wonder of the World Revived. National Register of
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. West Baden Springs Hotel
Also see . . .
1. Creation of "The Eighth Wonder of the World".
The new hotel, complete with a 200-foot diameter atrium and fireplace that burned 14-foot logs, opened for business in June of 1902. When the stock market crashed in 1929, the hotel emptied of guests almost overnight. In 1974, West Baden was listed as a National Historic Landmark but the elements took their toll on the neglected hotel and it was closed to the public in 1989 for safety reasons. In 1996, the Cook Group Inc., a global medical device manufacturing company headquartered nearby in Bloomington, stepped in to preserve both the French Lick and West Baden Springs Hotels. Under the direction of Bill and Gayle Cook and their son Carl, both hotels and their grounds received a multi-million-dollar renovation, returning them to the grandeur of the days of Sinclair and uniting them as one resort. With the completion of the West Baden Springs Hotel restoration in 2007, French Lick Resort was born.(Submitted on April 7, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. West Baden Springs National Historic Landmark.
The West Baden Springs Hotel in West Baden Indiana is one of the most unique architectural structures. Until 1963, when the Astrodome was built, the hotel's dome was the largest in the world, 200 feet in diameter, 100 feet in height. The dome is larger than St. Peter Basilica and the Pantheon. It was built in 277 days in 1902 and required 30 months to restore in 1996-98. The original four towers were recreated and lifted by helicopter in October 1998; this date marks the completion of the restoration.(Submitted on April 7, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. West Baden Springs Hotel.
It is known for the 200-foot (61 m) dome covering its atrium. Prior to the completion of the Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1955, the hotel had the largest free-spanning dome in the United States. From 1902 to 1913 it was the largest dome in the world.(Submitted on April 7, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 8, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 6, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 122 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 7, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.