The West Baden Springs Hotel is a historic landmark hotel in the town of West Baden Springs in Orange County, Indiana, United States, known for its vast domed atrium. It is currently part of the French Lick Resort. Prior to the completion of the Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1955, the building had the largest free-spanning dome in the United States and was the largest in the world from 1902 to 1913. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, became a National Historic Landmark in 1987, and is a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The West Baden Springs Hotel is recognized as one of the Historic Hotels of America by the National Trust of Historic Preservation.
Being that I was born and have spent most of my life in Indiana I will readily admit that Indiana is a rather boring place. While it is not “a cornfield with lights” as some say it just doesn’t have the geological or cultural diversity of many other place I have visited. But one exception to the boredom is French Lick/West Baden Springs in my region of the State.
French Lick and West Baden Springs has quite a history including having mineral springs. It is supposedly the place where FDR planned is initial presidential campaign strategy. Mineral springs, which is basically sulfur bubbling through water (just stinky stuff if you ask me) were believed to have a medicinal values. But that is just a small part of the history of this place. I would encourage you to click on the source above to learn more about it.
My latest visit to this are was a few weeks ago. I had been there a couple of times before but this was the first visit after the massive restoration of the buildings. As seems to be common with this type of thing building a casino there is what prompted the restoration. The domed atrium is indeed a wonder of the world. At least the old world prior to the superdomes… 🙂
I can imagine that my wife and I will spend a few days there in the coming years.
Below are some pictures of the area. Click on any picture to see a larger gallery view.