West Baden Springs: Save of the Century (1999)
DVD; approx. 54 minutes
The rise, demise and restoration of the West Baden Springs Hotel.
West Baden Springs: Save of the Century chronicles the rise, demise and restoration of the West Baden Springs Hotel. The program begins with the story of the hotel's 1902 construction by owner Lee Sinclair. The spa's glory days and events leading to the 1934 closing of the hotel are examined, as are structural and decorative changes made during the property's subsequent use as a Jesuit seminary and later use as a college campus for Northwood Institute. The program looks at deterioration that occurred after the building was vacated in 1983, and then, using documentary footage and interviews with key figures in the project, follows the over $30 million historic restoration of the property from 1996 to 1998. The camera records essential emergency work that stabilized the structure, unpleasant and pleasant surprises, restoration of architectural details throughout the main building, the re-creation of the gardens, and the replacement of four decorative towers that had been removed in the 1940s.