Northwest Indiana high school students will have a chance to help preserve one of Indiana’s most significant historic landmarks when they participate in a restoration project at the House of Tomorrow—an innovative 1933 Chicago World’s Fair exhibit house that predicted how we would live in the future.
Students from the LaPorte County Career & Technical Education Center in Michigan City will work with a preservation trades expert to remove and repair the house’s original metal kitchen cabinets.
After the Word’s Fair, the House of Tomorrow and four other exhibit houses traveled by truck and barge across Lake Michigan to Beverly Shores, Indiana. Privately owned until the land they occupied became part of the Indiana Dunes National Park in the ’60s and ’70s, the properties deteriorated in recent decades until Indiana Landmarks leased four from the Indiana Dunes National Park and then sub-leased them to tenants who restored four them.
The House of Tomorrow—the most architecturally innovative and historically significant of the collection—has been vacant since 1999 and needs rehabilitation that will cost $2.5 to $3 million. Indiana Landmarks is accepting proposals for the restoration and long-term lease of the house for use as a single-family residence. In exchange for restoring the house to the approved specifications, the successful party will receive a 50-year lease on the property.
For their part, the LaPorte County students will take the home’s kitchen cabinets to their classroom, where they’ll remove rust and return them to their original color, a shade of white determined by previous paint analysis. The work is expected to be finished by the end of May. The restored cabinets will be stored until the restoration/preservation work at the House of Tomorrow is complete, at which time they will be re-installed.
The project is part of The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience), a program that trains youth in preservation trades to expose a younger, more diverse audience to preservation.
“We live in a society of disposable and throw away and on to the new shiny object. Hopefully my students will appreciate the value of history, the importance of history, and the appreciation of restoration,” says Dick Bucher, construction technology instructor at the LaPorte County Career & Technical Education Center.
WHAT: Students working to remove original kitchen cabinets at the House of Tomorrow (the entire house will be open for media viewing)
WHEN: Tuesday, May 10, 9 a.m. to noon Central Daylight Time
WHERE: 214 Lake Front Drive, Indiana Dunes National Park, Beverly Shores, IN 46304
Partners include Indiana Landmarks, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, LaPorte County Career & Technical Education Center, Indiana Dunes National Park, and trades expert Ann Swigart, a New Orleans-based preservation trades expert.
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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 www.indianalandmarks.org.
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. National Treasures, the National Trust’s signature program, are a revolving portfolio of cherished and nationally significant historic places for which the organization deploys the full range of its preservation, advocacy, and public engagement resources to secure long-term sustainability. For more information, visit: savingplaces.org
About HOPE Crew
Since the start of the program in 2014, HOPE Crews have completed more than 165 projects, trained over 750 young people (including veterans) in preservation trades, performed more than $18 million of preservation work, and recruited thousands of volunteers to protect places that are significant to their communities.
Todd Zeiger, Director, Indiana Landmarks Northern Regional Office, 574-286-5765, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Molly Baker, Manager, HOPE Crew, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 202-588-6145, Mbaker@savingplaces.org