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Whether you’re captivated by rustic log cabins, love Victorian-era houses, or you’re mad for Mid-Century Modern, the Logs to Lustrons Tour on May 5 in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore will satisfy your interest.
The Logs to Lustrons Tour features 13 landmark sites spanning over a century of architecture, including restored residences not normally open to the public and vacant buildings in need of a new use. Nine interiors will be open for the tour sponsored by Indiana Landmarks, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and Dunes National Park Association.
For those who want a deeper understanding, there’s an illustrated talk, “Logs, Glass & Metal: A Century of Architectural Legacy” at 7 p.m., May 4. Speakers include: Todd Zeiger, Director of Indiana Landmarks’ Northern Regional Office; Cliff Goins, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Special Events Manager; and the Shymanski family, restorers of the Oscar and Irene Nelson house and outbuildings. Cost is $10 per person ($5 for Indiana Landmarks members). Children 16 and under are welcome and free, but must have a ticket. Buy tickets online or by calling 800-450-4534.
The May 5 tour includes three Swedish landmarks: the Gust Lindstrom Site and its World War I-era Wahl Barn, which has been restored and repurposed as an environmental preschool, the restored Oscar and Irene Nelson House and outbuildings, and the Charles and Mathilda Nelson House. Moving into the twentieth century, the tour takes you to U.S. Steel’s Good Fellow Lodge, open for the first time to the public, the centerpiece of a youth camp overlooking the Little Calumet River that the company maintained from 1941 to 1976 for employees’ children. You’ll also tour architect-designed International-style houses—Meyer House and Solomon Enclave—and two prefabricated post-World War II enameled steel Lustron houses.
These tours depart from the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center every 15 minutes from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., Central Time. Each tour lasts approximately two hours. Visitors take the tour at their own pace, visiting or skipping sites as they choose, with guides at each site.
The cost for the tours on May 5 is $30 per person ($25 for Indiana Landmarks members). Children 16 and under are welcome and free, but must have a ticket. Timed-entry tickets are available online, or by calling 800-450-4534.
Children on the tour can earn a Junior Ranger Badge by completing drawings of sites on the tour in a booklet supplied by the national lakeshore. Hands-on programs will be presented at several sites, including log construction at Bailly/Chellberg Contact Station and brick making at the Oscar and Irene Nelson site.
The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was established in 1966, after which the National Park Service acquired the historic structures within the park boundaries, including the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair Century of Progress homes, the Swedish landmarks, and others. Indiana Landmarks is working with the National Park Service to determine a long-term solution for four of the tour’s historic structures.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 417 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Located in Northwest Indiana, the park includes 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 15,000 acres of biodiverse beaches, woods, prairies, and marshes. Up to 2 million visitors come to the Indiana Dunes each year. For more information visit the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore's website.
Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit Indiana Landmarks' website.
Dunes National Park Association works to curate and protect Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore while amplifying education opportunities and enjoyment of one of the most biodiverse parks in the nation. The DNPA is designated as a friends group working to build a community dedicated to conserving this national treasure for current and future generations. Its all-volunteer board works shoulder-to-shoulder with the park and its fellow partners. Join us! Explore membership and volunteer opportunities at the Dunes National Park Association's website.