West Baden Springs Hotel, 1902

8538 W Baden Ave, West Baden Springs, IN 47469

Architect/Designer:   Harrison Albright


West Baden Springs Hotel is a large complex of structures including the main hotel, spa and casino facilities as well as a beautifully landscaped golf course. The main hotel is a circular six story brick and concrete structure. The exterior features a dynamic arched roof line with the red painted steel and glass dome rising over the center of the structure. The huge dome is 195 feet in diameter and 130 feet high. Additional exterior features include Moorish Revival towers along the main entrance creating a grand entry to the opulent hotel. The covered “Pompeian Court” rises the full height of the building on the interior. Two concentric rings of guest rooms run along the outer edge of the hotel. The interior rings of rooms feature interior windows that overlook the court; this coupled with the opulent décor is what gives the hotel its ancient court like appearance.


Originally called the Mile Lick Hotel the name was changed to West Baden Springs Hotel after the European spa destination, Baden Baden. The original structure burned in a fire shortly after its opening and the current West Baden Springs Hotel was constructed in only a year. Opening in 1902 the hotel was called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” due to its massive glass dome. West Baden Springs Hotel has undergone and tumultuous history with many owners and uses. In the late 1990s restoration efforts began thanks to Indiana Landmarks and the Cook family, the restoration made national news due it is extensive cost and creative financial planning; roughly $32 million was spent on the exterior and grounds. However, it was not until 2003 that the hotel was approved as a casino and Indiana Landmarks sold the hotel to the Cook family for $5 with a credit for the millions the family had already invested. In 2007 interior restoration was completed and the hotel reopened as a casino and resort.


National Register of Historic Places, 1974.

National Historic Landmark, 1987.

Style: Moorish Revival

Owner (past/present):

Past: Lee W. Sinclair

Present: COOK Group, Inc.


Main structure: brick and concrete

Dome material: glass and steel

Additions and/or changes with date:

1917-1919: Interior atrium altered and decorated to create “Pompeian court”

1996-1999: Partial restoration of interior and exterior

2005: Alterations made to accommodate casino use

2005-2015: Continued upkeep and landscape changes to accommodate growing popularity

Historic use/current use:

1902-1932: Hotel

1932-1964: Jesuit Seminary

1966-1988: Northwood Institute

2007-Present: Resort and Casino

Is building open to the public?: Yes, scheduled tours provided by Indiana Landmarks

Condition: Excellent

Website and/or sources of information

Hotel Website: https://www.frenchlick.com/



Research Sources:

Historic Hotels of America. “West Baden Springs Hotel.” Accessed August 27, 2015.http://www.historichotels.org/hotels-resorts/west-baden-springs-hotel/history.php

Indiana Landmarks. “Historic of French Lick & West Baden.” Accessed August 27, 2015.http://www.indianalandmarks.org/tours/WestBadenFrenchLick/History/Pages/default.aspx

National Register of Historic Places, West Baden Springs Hotel, West Baden, Orange, Indiana, 19740627. 1985.


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