House of Tomorrow, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana

photo by: Hedrich Blessing/Chicago History Museum

National Treasures

The House of Tomorrow

  • Constructed: 1933
  • Architect: George Fred Keck
  • Location: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana

In the early 1930s, as America was in the grips of the Great Depression, the House of Tomorrow showed millions of World’s Fair attendees in Chicago—and people all over the world—a gleaming, technology-driven vision of what domestic life could be like in the future.

More than 39 million people attended the 1933-34 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago, clamoring for a glimpse of the future at exhibits like the House of Tomorrow. Architect George Fred Keck’s design included many features Depression-era Americans had not seen before, such as central air conditioning and the first-ever General Electric dishwasher.

After the Fair, five Century of Progress houses were shipped by barge to Indiana where they remained in private hands until the land became part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Despite recognition by the New York Times as an “indisputable architectural masterpiece,” the House of Tomorrow has sat vacant and deteriorating since 1999.

An innovative lease agreement between Indiana Landmarks and the National Park Service allowing for the rehabilitation of the Century of Progress houses provides a model for addressing NPS maintenance backlogs. The National Trust’s experience stewarding Modernist resources will help ensure the long-term preservation of the House of Tomorrow.

Campaign Goals

  • Raise funding to rehabilitate the House of Tomorrow
  • Increase awareness of this significant Modern building
  • Create a national model for funding rehabilitation projects in National Parks

Partners

Opportunity

Once a futuristic model for residential design, the House of Tomorrow can now serve as a national model for funding the rehabilitation of historic properties in our National Parks.

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