George Fred Keck’s vision of what modern domestic life could be in the future produced the House of Tomorrow, designed for exhibition at the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago. Sporting a hangar for the family plane, the House of Tomorrow was erected around a central perforated steel mast that also served as a structural element. An electric dishwasher, glass curtain and central air conditioning, noted as the first ever in a home, contributed to the modern conveniences. At the conclusion of the Fair, five homes were shipped across Lake Michigan to what is now Beverly Shores at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
BLS was retained as preservation architect to assess and document the House’s existing conditions and original fabric. Following the assessment, BLS reviewed several approaches to preserving and restoring select materials and components of the building. It was determined that the period of significance would be 1933, the condition of the House at the beginning of the Fair. BLS provided construction documents and followed the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines and the National Park Service (NPS) policies and guidelines, with reviews by the Indiana State Historic Preservation Agency and Indiana Landmarks.
Scope of work on the House of Tomorrow includes:
- Replacement of original curtain wall system
- Restoration of historic finishes
- Replacement of appropriate matching materials
- Restoration of fixes, furniture and appliances
- Overall rehabilitation plan
- Client: Indiana Landmarks
- Project Address: Beverly Shores, Indiana
- Project Size: 3,500 sf on a 2-acre site
- Construction Cost: $2.5 million
- Services Provided: Assessment, Planning, Design Documents, Construction Documents, Historic Preservation, Sustainable Design
- Awards and Recognition: Designated National Treasure by National Trust for Historic Preservation