Century of Progress Architectural District

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Beverly Shores--Century of Progress Architectural District
Florida Tropical House NPS.jpg
Florida Tropical House, back elevation taken from beach, 1994.
Century of Progress Architectural District is located in Indiana
Century of Progress Architectural District
Location 208, 210, 212, 214, and 215 Lake Front Dr., Beverly Shores, Indiana
Coordinates 41°41′3″N 87°0′6″W / 41.68417°N 87.00167°W / 41.68417; -87.00167Coordinates: 41°41′3″N 87°0′6″W / 41.68417°N 87.00167°W / 41.68417; -87.00167
Built 1933
Architect Walter Scholer, et al.
Governing body National Park Service
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP June 30, 1986

The Century of Progress Architectural District, a part of the eastern unit of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, is an historic district on Lake Front Drive in Beverly Shores, Porter County, Indiana. The district comprises five buildings, all from the Homes of Tomorrow Exhibition during the 1933 Century of Progress World's Fair which took place in Chicago. Intended to display the future of housing, the Century of Progress Homes reflect a variety of designs, experimental materials and new technologies. On June 30, 1986, the district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Beverly Shores—Century of Progress Architectural District.

Move to Beverly Shores, Indiana[edit]

After the closing of the 1933 World's Fair, in late winter 1935 the Century of Progress houses were moved from Chicago to Indiana. Robert Bartlett purchased the homes with the intent of using them to sell more properties in his new residential development called Beverly Shores. Owing to their lakefront location in Chicago and their future lakefront location in Indiana, it was determined the easiest way to transport the homes was by barge. The houses were rolled off the barge on telephone poles onto a heavy timber crib built out into the lake. There were a series of three steps used to raise the house to the level of Lake Front Drive.[2]

Contributing properties[edit]

The five contributing properties in the architectural district are:

Name Image Current address Description Architect Style'
Wieboldt-Rostone House Rostone 1pv.jpg 208 Lake Front Dr. :[3] Framed in steel and clad with an artificial stone called Rostone (Limestone, shale and alkali). Its Rostone exterior was billed as never needing repairs, but it only lasted until the 1950s.[4]
Florida Tropical House Florida Tropical House back elevation.JPG Lake Front Dr. :[5] Designed for the southern Florida tropics, the house combines the indoors and outdoors into the living space. Large open terraces and a flamingo pink paint scheme stand out.[4]
Cypress Log Cabin INTERIOR, VIEW OF FIREPLACE AT EAST END OF GREAT HALL FROM WEST048693pv.jpg 215 Lake Front Dr. Built to be a mountain home. The setting at the World's Fair included a landscape with cypress fences, arbors and bridges.[4]
House of Tomorrow 571531cv.jpg 214 Lake Front Dr. Designed as the house of the future, this house included its own airplane hangar. Glass walls offered views from every angle and so taxed the experimental air conditioning system that the cooling system failed.[4]
Armco-Ferro House Armco-Ferro 571533cv.jpg 212 Lake Front Dr. The only house of the five to stand the test of time in meeting the criteria of the World's Fair Committee: 'affordable' and 'mass producible'. An all-steel home using corrugated steel panels for walls, without a frame.[4]

Current status[edit]

The houses have been restored and all are open one day a year for public tours, the most recent one being on Saturday, October 22, 2011.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ Images of America; Beverly Shores, A Suburban Dune Resort, Jim Morrow; Arcadia Press, Chicago, Illinois, 2001, pg 94
  3. ^ "Wieboldt-Rostone House". Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Cultural Sites of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; National Park Service, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; Porter, Indiana
  5. ^ "Florida Tropical House". Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  6. ^ National Park Service, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Century of Progress 1933 World's Fair Homes and More, Annual Architecture Tour Featuring The Century of Progress Homes

External links[edit]