"Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it."     Psalm 127:1


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The West Baden Springs Hotel in West Baden Springs, Indiana, was sometimes referred to as "The Eighth Wonder of the World" in the early 20th century.  This was due in no small part to its magnificent six-story clear span glass and steel-domed atrium.  Rising 110 feet tall with a diameter of 200 feet, it was the only dome of its kind in this country until the Houston Astrodome was constructed in 1965.

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        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 West Baden Springs Hotel itself is a six-story, circular building with over 500 original rooms. Its distinguishing architectural feature is a magnificent six-story clear-span glass and steel-domed atrium (see left sidebar).  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.






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