West Baden Springs Hotel is .2 mi. w. of jct. SR 56 and West Baden Ave. at 8538 West Baden Ave. Originally a 708-room luxury resort built in 1902, the restored and reinvigorated resort and spa now offers 243 rooms and retains the acclaim it garnered more than a century ago for its six-story atrium, which at 600 feet in circumference was the world's largest clear-span dome until the Houston Astrodome was unveiled in 1965. The atrium is beautified with gilt, Italian marble and an intricate mosaic tile floor; the resort's grounds are adorned with formal and sunken gardens.
Tour guides relate the hotel's origin and architecture as well as its decline during the Great Depression and its recent rejuvenation. Also recounted are stories about famous former patrons, a list eliciting such noteworthy names as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Bing Crosby and Al Capone. Many celebrities, renowned figures and socialites frequented the original resort in its heyday to imbibe and bathe in water from the mineral springs and delight in entertainment, spa treatments and the casinos.
Renovations include a portico-like structure that graces the resort's west facade as well as a replica of the original resort's natatorium. An 18-hole golf course was chiseled into the hills adjacent to the resort.
Guided tours are available. Picnicking is permitted. Food is available.