The West Baden Springs Hotel, itself a building of no small history, is an absolutely gorgeous place, one we will be talking about for awhile.
The place got going about 1855 with guests coming by rail to indulge in the mineral waters. Lee W. Sinclair got it in 1888 and, after a fire destroyed everything in 1901, hired an unknown architect out of West Virginia to build a circular hotel out of nonflammable materials. Oh, the dome should be the world’s largest, by the way. Undaunted, the architect, Harrison Albright, set about his work and by September 1902 the thing was done. It was then called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Birds flew freely beneath the 200-foot atrium. An enormous fireplace burned 14-foot logs to keep the chill off and to warm the likes of such guests as Diamond Jim Brady, Al Capone and John Sullivan. Entire baseball teams would hold spring training there. The resort had everything – golf, horses, billiards, bowling, baseball, swimming, hiking, bicycling, movies and nightly theater.