West Baden Springs Hotel, State Route 56, West Baden Springs, Orange County, IN
The West Baden Springs Hotel is a national historic landmark hotel in West Baden Springs, Orange County, Indiana. It opened on September 15, 1902, and called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Hotel included a gambling casino and live theater performance every night, as well as opera, concerts, movies, bowling, and billiards. The huge atrium had palm trees, free-range birds and a massive fireplace in the atrium could accommodate logs as long as 14 feet. Outdoors, guests had their choice of a natatorium, two golf courses, horseback riding, baseball, several hiking trails, or bicycling on a covered, double-decked oval track. Hotel's facilities also included a bank and a stock brokerage. From 1902 to 1913 it's 200-foot (61 m) dome covering its atrium was the largest in the world. For thirty years, the hotel was used as Jesuit seminary named West Baden College, an affiliate of Loyola University Chicago. The former hotel's four Moorish towers were removed from the exterior after they fell into disrepair. Truckloads of stone were dumped into the mineral spring pools, then capped with concrete and turned into shrines for the saints. In 1966, the Jesuits sold the property to Macauley and Helen Dow Whiting, who donated it to Northwood Institute, a private, coeducational college. A gala event on June 23, 2007, marked the reopening of the West Baden Springs Hotel, seventy-five years after it closed. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has included the hotel in its Historic Hotels of America program. The American Society of Civil Engineers designated the hotel as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.