The West Baden Springs Hotel Restoration
Prior to its restoration, which began in the summer of 1996, the West Baden Springs Hotel was on the "10 Most Endangered List" compiled by the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana. The original scope of work was completed in the fall of 1998. The work completed at that point, which was done at an approximate cost of $32,000,000, resulted in the restoration of about 25% of the property. The decision was then made to completely restore the hotel and grounds with the goal of making The West Baden Springs Hotel a world-class destination once again.
The hotel is a six-story, circular building with over 500 original rooms. Its most distinguishing architectural feature is a magnificent six-story clear-span glass and steel-domed atrium. The hotel is situated on 255 acres with eight outbuildings, which include a bathhouse, an observatory, a gazebo, and a billiard and bowling pavilion.
This restoration contained many architectural and engineering challenges. Structural repairs to failed areas of the building required solutions that addressed not only stabilization and repair, but also the preservation of historic craftsmanship. Architectural challenges were abundant in the detailed re-creation of the elegant domed atrium and lobby in the main structure, and the beautiful fountains and grounds of the hotel.
The long-awaited and publicly acclaimed reopening of the West Baden Springs Hotel took place in the spring of 2007, a fitting time for new beginnings from long-established roots.
Who Doesn't Love A Good Comeback Story?
The West Baden Springs Hotel was dubbed "The Eighth Wonder of the World" when it opened in 1902. The recent restoration, which took nearly ten years to complete, caught the attention of at least three magazines.
Click on the covers below to read these articles.
In 1997, an article in Construction Digest reported on the stabilization process and the expected challenges ahead.
A journalist from Life Magazine was there with hundreds of other onlookers to watch as four 19,000 pound Moorish tower caps were lowered into place by a helicopter named Bubba.
This article in the September 2007 issue of Structure Magazine was written by Graeme Sharpe, a former staff engineer at Silver Creek Engineering.