BEVERLY SHORES | A house built to show the world the future of American home design has been deemed one of the most endangered structures in the state, a nonprofit group said.
The House of Tomorrow in Beverly Shores was built for the 1933 Century of Progress World's Fair hosted by Chicago. It, along with four other homes from the fair, was transported by barge to what became the town of Beverly Shores. The homes rest on Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore land.
Indiana Landmarks, a group concerned with preserving historically significant places, added the home to its annual list of landmarks in jeopardy. The list is meant to bring attention to the sites and gather support for their preservation.
The sites are significant, irreplaceable and often challenging to save, said Marsh Davis, Indiana Landmarks president.
"Our mission is to save meaningful places, and this is a list of 10 important places in greatest danger of being lost. ... These landmarks preserve connections to our shared heritage, and restoring them can spur broader revitalization," Davis said.
The Century of Progress houses were in bad shape when Indiana Landmarks leased them from the National Park Service and subleased four to people who agreed to repair them. The House of Tomorrow, 241 W. Lake Front Drive, has been under wraps for many years while the other four homes either have been restored or are undergoing rehabilitation.
The House of Tomorrow is awaiting the recruitment of a tenant able to tackle the restoration.
"We will be thrilled when they are all done," said Geoffrey Benson, president of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and also president of the Beverly Shores Town Council. "The Florida Tropical has been restored, the Wieboldt-Rostone home has been undergoing restoration for eight years, the Armco-Ferro home is under progress, and the Cyprus Log Cabin is complete, but the House of Tomorrow doesn't have anyone contracted for restoration. ... They are very unique, and the town is very proud of them."
Lorelei Weimer, executive director of Indiana Dunes Tourism, Porter County's tourism bureau, said the homes are a major attraction for the county.
"People love the homes, they love the history, and when you drive by them they are very visible, so they are a very important attraction for us," she said. "They were brought here to start the town of Beverly Shores, and they really resonate with visitors who will take the drive to look at them, so we want to make sure they are preserved and in good order. We don't want to lose them."
The other sites Indiana Landmarks lists this year as endangered are the American House in Centerville, the Harmony Way Bridge in New Harmony, the Jeffersonville Masonic Temple in Jeffersonville, the Old Clarksville Site in Clarksville, the Pantheon Theater in Vincennes, Sylvan Springs in Rome City, the Taggart Memorial in Indianapolis, Tyson Auditorium in Versailles and the T.G. Wilkinson House in Muncie.