EDITOR'S NOTE: The On the Road section is dedicated to a discussion of what we find on tour beyond West Michigan. Here we explore the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on the Indiana Landmarks Tour of Homes.
On Saturday, September 19, 2015, West Michigan Modern hit the road for a tour of Ogden Dunes and Beverly Shores at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore sponsored by Indiana Landmarks, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to "working to save architecturally unique, historically significant and communally cherished properties." The Indiana Landmarks staff were very organized and that made the tour a great experience.
ABOUT THE PHOTO: The photo show above is the 1948 Solomon Enclave known as “The Triplets” in Beverly Shores, Indiana National Dunes Lakeshore. The Solomon Enclave was designed by Louis Solomon a prolific Chicago architect known for his design of large Chicago apartment buildings. The Enclave was designed to hold three families in side-by-side cottages. But that's jumping way ahead...
To go back to the beginning we really started our tour day mingling with Ogden Dunes and Beverly Shores residents (and other tour enthusiasts) over breakfast at the Ogden Dunes Church right on the lakeshore where you pick up the train into Chicago's Millennium Station. Ogden Dunes (Arcadia Press) authors Kent Martin and Richard Meister lectured on the history of the transformation of this formerly wild dunes paradise into a vital neighborhood of lovely lakeshore homes. They also shared the successful battle waged by homeowners to preserve the dunes that resulted in the authorization of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore by Congress in 1966, as the big steel companies continued to devour more pristine dune lands. Early on this area was popular with Chicago hiking enthusiasts and could be reached by train.
The area first developed as a community when one Francis Ogden died "penniless" in a Houston, Texas hotel leaving an estate that included about 500 acres of pristine dunes and Lake Michigan shoreline. Ogden Dunes Realty company led by developers Samuel Reck and Colin MacKenzie bought the land. Although the depression temporarily slowed the area's growth, today the community has grown to 1200 residents and 600 homes.
We toured Ogden Dunes by bus in the morning. Lunch was followed by a second lecture where we learned that John Lloyd Wright designed many buildings nearby - a good incentive for a return trip. Then we toured the nearby Beverly Shores neighborhood and drove by the House of the Tomorrow and other 1933 Chicago World's Fair houses moved there in 1935 mostly by barge after the fair closed down.
The Lake Michigan Modern Tour included some homes that had never been open to the public before and was so popular they added more busses to accommodate the waiting list. West Michigan Modern applauds the staff at Indiana Landmarks for organizing a day that provided an opportunity to experience lovely and historically important homes with gorgeous views of land, lake and the Chicago skyline.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LAKE MICHIGAN MODERN TOUR 2016
At the end of the tour in the afternoon we drove by the the 1933 Chicago World's Fair Houses moved to Beverly Shores in 1935 by developer Robert Bartlett.
We drove by the 1933 Chicago World's Fair homes, moved to Beverly Shores in 1935 by developer Robert Bartlett. The House of Tomorrow and the Florida Tropical House are part of the the Century of Progress Architectural District, an historical district within the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Beverly Shores. The district is made up of the five buildings from the Homes of Tomorrow Exhibition in the 1933 Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago, and were brought to Beverly Shores in 1935 by developer Robert Bartlett. They survive today through a partnership between the National Parks, Indiana Landmarks and private donations.Traditionally these homes are open in October for a fall tour.
The House of Tomorrow was designed by George F. Keck with an innovative steel frame and glass curtain wall on the second and third floors, these were later replaced by working windows. The first floor was originally outfitted with both a garage and an airplane hanger because, of course, we would all soon have our own airplanes for transportation. Keck soon realized that the many windows created a solar heat gain and began designing other "solar" homes.
Below the House of Tomorrow as designed by George F. Keck and resting on it's new home the lot in Beverly Shores overlooking Lake Michigan across the road.
PHOTO CREDIT: House of Tomorrow 1933 by George Fred Keck., Berverly Shores, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Photo from Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS IND,64-BEVSH,9--1
Below is the current photo of what the House of Tomorrow looks like today wrapped up and under restoration.
Here another one of the Chicago World's Fair Houses with great windows and parapet.
Below is the Chicago World's Fair House the pink Florida Tropical House on its sandy Lake Michigan perch. PHOTO CREDIT: Florida Tropical House. View of North Elevation.Photo from Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS IND,64-BEVSH,8--22 (CT).
Above the Florida Tropical House
The Florida Tropical House, with its signature Florida pink exterior, was built by the State of Florida to showcase and entice tourism to the state. The house was designed in the Modernist style by Miami architect Robert Law Weed, whose intent was to blend the inside and outside environments, with a large two-story living room and roof terraces that were modeled after the deck of an ocean liner.