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West Baden Springs

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West Baden Springs Hotel, State Route 56, West Baden Springs, Orange County, IN



B&W Photos

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Supplemental Material


Item Title


Location
State Route 56, West Baden Springs, IN

Find maps of West Baden Springs, IN


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1968.

Notes
Survey number HAER IN-2
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-14).
Building/structure dates: 1902 initial construction
National Register Number: 74000016
Significance: The West Baden Springs Hotel is notable as an engineering achievement and as a testament to an opulent social era. The main building was erected in 1901-02 after a disastrous fire destroyed an earlier hotel on the site. The energetic owner of the hotel, Lee Wiley Sinclair, has been given credit for the general idea of constructing a domed circular court surrounded by guest rooms. The actual design was carried out by a young West Virginia architect, Harrison Albright. The dome was designed by Oliver J. Westcott of the Illinois Steel Company in Chicago. The hotel is a six story structure with a 16-sided exterior enclosing two rings of rooms around the domed court which rises the full height of the building. Its principle feature is the dome itself, which is supported 24 steel ribs, and has a diameter of 195 feet. At the time of its construction, its owners, supported by the leading technical journals, claimed it to be the largest dome in the world. The great size and elegant engineering of the dome make the West Baden Springs Hotel a climax in the great era of experimentation in the use of metal and glass during the 19th century. The building also played a significant role in American social history, attracting many celebrities during the first three decades of the 20th century. Guest came at first for the mineral waters available in West Baden, but increasingly during the 1910's and 20's the main attraction at the hotel was gambling. After the hotel closed its doors during the Depression, the building became a Jesuit seminary. Since 1967, it has housed a private college.

Subjects
Colleges & Universities
Hotels
Theological Seminaries


Related Names
Albright, Harrison
Sinclair, Lee Wiley
Westcott, Oliver J.


Collection
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. GENERAL VIEW FROM WEST OF THE MARQUEE ENTRANCE
2. DETAIL VIEW OF SOUTH (MAIN) ENTRANCE
3. VIEW OF SOUTH ELEVATION
4. SOUTHWEST ELEVATION
5. WEST ELEVATION
6. VIEW OF EAST (MAIN) ENTRANCE
7. GENERAL VIEW OF DOME
8. DETAIL VIEW OF DOME
9. GENERAL VIEW OF POWERHOUSE FROM ROOF OF HOTEL
10. VIEW OF GARDENS FROM ROOF OF HOTEL
11. GENERAL VIEW OF GARDENS
12. GENERAL VIEW OF GARDENS AND PAVILIONS
13. GENERAL VIEW
14. GENERAL VIEW #2, HYGEIA SPRING
15. DETAIL VIEW OF HYGEIA SPRING
16. VIEW OF ROTUNDA THROUGH ARCHWAY OF ORIENTAL PERGOLA BEFORE HOTEL
17. GENERAL VIEW #3, BELVEDERE
18. PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF BELVEDERE
19. GENERAL VIEW OF BELVEDERE
20. GENERAL VIEW OF ATRIUM FROM SIXTH FLOOR SHOWING ROOF STRUCTURE AND FLOOR DETAILS
21. GENERAL VIEW FROM FLOOR OF ATRIUM SHOWING ROOF AND INTERIOR WALLS
22. DETAIL VIEW IN A 360 ARC OF INTERIOR OF ATRIUM STARTING AT A POINT DUE EAST FROM THE CAMERA . . . ARC #1
23. ARC VIEW #2, ATRIUM
24. ARC VIEW #3, ATRIUM
25. ARC VIEW #4, ATRIUM
26. ARC VIEW #5, ATRIUM
27. GENERAL VIEW OF THE ATRIUM FROM FLOOR LEVEL
28. VIEW IN ATRIUM FROM WEST TO NORTH ALONG NORTHEAST WALL
29. GENERAL VIEW OF INTERIOR OF ATRIUM FROM SIXTH FLOOR SHOWING ROOF STRUCTURE
30. VIEW OF EAST SECTION OF ATRIUM TO NORTH OF THEATER ENTRANCE
31. TELEPHOTO VIEW SHOWING TYPICAL WINDOWS AND BALCONIES OF ATRIUM
32. GENERAL VIEW OF ATRIUM SHOWING COLUMNS, TRUSS BASES, AND COLUMN CAPITALS
33. VIEW OF TRUSSES, NORTHEAST SECTION OF ATRIUM
34. DETAIL VIEW SHOWING COLUMN CAPITAL AND TRUSS BASE, INTERIOR, EAST SIDE
35. TELEPHOTO VIEW OF ATRIUM INTERIOR SHOWING TRUSSES AND COLUMN CAPITALS
36. TELEPHOTO VIEW, ATRIUM INTERIOR, SHOWING COMPRESSION RING AND MEDALLION, UNDERSIDE OF ROOF STRUCTURE
37. DETAIL VIEW SHOWING COMPRESSION RING AND GIANT MEDALLION, UNDERSIDE OF ROOF STRUCTURE
38. DETAIL VIEW, ATRIUM INTERIOR, SHOWING BASE OF TYPICAL TRUSS AND SLIDING JOINT ABOVE COLUMN CAPITAL
39. DETAIL VIEW LOOKING STRAIGHT UP FROM FLOOR OF ATRIUM TO UNDERSIDE OF ROOF
40. DETAIL VIEW SHOWING TYPICAL DOME ROOF FENESTRATION
41. DETAIL VIEW OF FLOOR TILE SHOWING NAME OF MANUFACTURER, CASSINI MOSAIC TILE CO., CINCINNATI, OHIO
42. VIEW SHOWING TYPICAL DESIGN IN FLOOR TILE
43. DETAIL VIEW SHOWING COLUMN BASE DESIGN AND ONE OF PAIRED PENDANT LIGHTING FIXTURES WHICH FLANK FIREPLACE, NORTH SIDE OF ATRIUM
44. VIEW OF FIREPLACE, NORTH SIDE OF ATRIUM, SHOWING DECORATIVE TILE
45. DETAIL VIEW SHOWING TYPICAL LIGHTING FIXTURE AT BASE OF ATRIUM COLUMNS
46. DETAIL VIEW SHOWING TYPICAL ATRIUM BALCONY
47. VIEW OF BATHROOM SHOWING TUB AND STEAM CABINET
48. DETAIL VIEW OF FIREPLACE
49. DETAIL VIEW SHOWING STENCIL DESIGNS OF ANTHEMION WITH RIBBONS AND BOUND GARLANDS ON DOME
50. DETAIL VIEW SHOWING FLOOR CONSTRUCTION, FIFTH FLOOR
51. DETAIL VIEW SHOWING WALL CONSTRUCTION, SIXTH FLOOR FROM WEST IN ROOM #643


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