Once a year, 5 very unique homes are opened to the public for tours at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Not like any home you live in, these restored homes were designed in 1933 for the Chicago World’s Fair to depict what the future of homes would be like. They included novel concepts such as central heating and air and dishwashers. The houses included the Florida Tropical (above), House of Tomorrow (below), Cypress Log Cabin (bottom), Armco Ferro and Wieboldt-Rostone houses.
The houses, in observance with the fair’s “century of Progress” theme, highlighted groundbreaking building materials, modern home appliances, and new construction techniques. Later moved to northwest Indiana to promote a new housing community, these houses were included in the national lakeshore in the early 1970’s, and are now undergoing rehabilitation with private funds through a partnership with Indiana Landmarks.
Over 70 years of wind, sand and surf have battered these five World’s fair houses located along Lake Front Drive in Beverly Shores, and more than 20 other houses that were also moved over after the fair have not survived the century. Four of the houses were brought to the dunes by barge in 1935 by real estate developer Robert Bartlett, but the Cypress Log Cabin was dismantled at the fair and moved by truck because of the nature of the material. Bartlett hoped that the high profile houses would entice buyers to his resort community, and today these are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.