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
Century of Progress Architectural District is located in USA
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.
NRHP Reference # 86001472[1]
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.

Century of Progress[edit]

The Beverly Shores/Century of Progress Architectural District is significant because it encompasses houses from the 1933–34 Chicago Century of Progress Exposition that comprised a portion of the Home and Industrial Arts Group. These structures were innovative and included engineering and construction technologies that are integral parts of modern residential architecture.[2]

During the 1893 Columbian Exposition, the classicism of the French Beaux Arts tradition was popular along with the eclectic revivals of the Victorian architectural periods. This trend dominated American architecture during the first part of the twentieth century. Forty years later, Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition was the national showcase for new directions in American architecture, which once again followed a European precedent, the 1925 Paris Exposition."[2] The Century of Progress Exposition was conceived in the prosperous 1920s, but the nation was deep in the Great' Depression by the opening date. Modern technology, the general theme of the exposition, gave the nation something new during a bleak economic period. New materials, nontraditional construction methods, and efficient, new mechanical systems came together."[2] Electric floodlights, searchlights and neon highlighted the polychromed facades and stylized motifs of the major exhibition buildings. The architecture of the Century of Progress Expostion was progressive, which meant either the Art Deco or International Style.."[2]

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.[3]

Contributing properties[edit]

The five contributing properties in the architectural district are:

Name Image Current address Description Architect Style
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] Scholer,Walter, et al.
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] Murray D. Hetherington
Florida Tropical House Florida Tropical House back elevation.JPG 210 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] Robert Law Weed Modernist
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] Walter Scholer, George Fred Keck, et al. European modernism
Wieboldt-Rostone House Rostone 1pv.jpg 208 Lake Front Dr. :[6] 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] Walter Scholer

Significance[edit]

Historic American Building Survey,

The Beverly Shores Century of Progress Architectural District encompasses houses from the 1933–34 Chicago Century of Progress Exposition that comprised a "portion of an exhibit known as the Home and Industrial Arts Group. Many of these structures were innovative and displayed engineering and construction technologies that have become an integral part of modern residential architecture."[7]

In hosting the 1893 Columbian Exposition, Chicago made the classicism of the French Beaux Arts tradition popular with an American public coming from the Victorian architectural periods. This trend dominated American architecture during the first part of the twentieth century.[7] Forty years later, Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition was the national showcase for new directions in American architecture, which again followed a European precedent, the 1925 Paris Exposition.[7]

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.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved 2016-06-01.  Note: This includes Fay Hendry and Keith Everett, Thomas Hensley and Jill York O'Bright (October 1985). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Beverly Shores/Century of Progress Architectural District" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-06-01.  and Accompanying photographs.
  3. ^ Images of America; Beverly Shores, A Suburban Dune Resort, Jim Morrow; Arcadia Press, Chicago, Illinois, 2001, pg 94
  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. ^ "Wieboldt-Rostone House". Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  7. ^ a b c Partsch, Dorothy; Century of Progress Architectural District; 86001472; National Park Service – nomination form; Washington, D.C.; June 30, 1986
  8. ^ 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]