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National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

West Baden Springs Hotel

The dome of the six-story atrium spans 200 feet and was once dubbed the

West Baden Springs, Indiana

When the West Baden Springs Hotel opened in 1902 with more than 500 rooms, the world's largest free-span dome, and amenities from golf courses to a bowling alley, it was the place to be…until the stock market crash of 1929. The lavish hotel that once hosted the likes of Al Capone and pro baseball teams became a seminary, then a college, then sat vacant, mired in bankruptcy litigation through the 1980s. The hotel was designated a national historic landmark in 1987, but continued to deteriorate until a partial collapse sparked an effort to save the hotel. The Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana took 15 years, many partners, and even more money, but the hotel was finally rehabilitated. The $97 million project consulted with the National Park Service to ensure historical accuracy and received a Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit. The West Baden Springs Hotel opened in 2007 as part of a high-end resort and casino.

Photo: The dome of the six-story atrium spans 200 feet and was once dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World"
– NPS file

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