Caching Chicago Series
Homes of Tomorrow
The Geocaching Chicago Series takes you to interesting places in and around Chicago. GC7B9EH Homes of Tomorrow from A Century of Progress have an interesting history along Lake Michigan.
This is one of those “I would never have visited this historic spot if it were not for geocaching”. The Homes of Tomorrow are well worth a visit.
By GCache Method
This Gecoache is part of my Geocaching Chicago Series, although it isn’t located within the city of Chicago. A Century of Progress International Exposition was a World’s Fair held in Chicago, as The Chicago World’s Fair, from 1933 to 1934 to celebrate the city’s centennial. The theme of the fair was technological innovation. The fair’s motto was “Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Adapts”. Fair visitors saw the latest wonders in travel, technology and architecture.
The fair was held on the shores of Lake Michigan on the land which now hosts McCormick Place Exhibition Center and Northerly Island (Once Meigs Airport Field). The fair buildings were multi-colored, to create a “Rainbow City” as compared to the “White City” of Chicago’s earlier World’s Columbian Exposition. The buildings generally followed Modern architecture in contrast to the neoclassical themes used at the 1893 fair.
One interesting and enduring exhibit was the 1933 Homes of Tomorrow Exhibition that demonstrated modern home convenience and creative practical new building materials and techniques with twelve model homes sponsored by several corporations affiliated with home decor and construction.
This virtual cache GC7B9EH was created by LostSailRs an experienced Geocacher with over 3,500 finds. LostSailRs cache description shares:
The 1933 Chicago World’s fair had an exhibit called the “Homes of Tomorrow.” It featured five distinct homes that each displayed innovative building materials, modern home appliances, and new construction techniques. Showcased at the 1933 World’s Fair, these homes afforded the more than 50 million attendees the ability to witness some of “tomorrow’s” revelations “today.”
Following the World’s Fair in 1935, Robert Bartlett purchased these homes and had them brought to the shores of the Indiana Dunes to help sell his new residential resort community, Beverly Shores. 4 of the homes, the Armco-Ferro, Florida Tropical, House of Tomorrow, and the Wieboldt-Rostone, were shipped across Lake Michigan on a barge while the Cypress Log Cabin was disassembled and moved by truck. Sadly, Bartlett’s dream of creating a lakeside resort failed because of the depression.
In the mid-1960s, the National Park Service took over the area that included Beverly Shores and conglomerated it under the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore banner. In doing so, the homeowners became lessees and had little incentive to keep up the homes and they began to crumble. At the start of the 21st century, Indiana Landmarks leased these homes from the National Park Service to help restore their former glory. To pay for this, Indiana Landmarks subleased these homes to private citizens. Combined, this three-way partnership will insure these homes of tomorrow, will see many tomorrows to come.
The homes are now private residences but graciously allow 15 minutes of parking along the road. You will probably need more than 15 minutes to log the cache but there are parking lots at both ends of the homes. You are better off parking in the lot so you can stop at each waypoint and read about the history and construction of each home.
Visiting this cache is easy as it is located just a few miles off I-94 and even closer to historic Route 12. To log the cache, you will need to answer a question, or two, about each home. I recommend allowing 45-60 minutes from I-94 to find and enjoy this virtual geocache.
There are some other great Geocaching areas in the Indiana Dunes National Park and you can learn more here on their website.
Interested in visiting the location where this World’s Fair was held? Here are a few caches located on, or near, the site of the fairgrounds
GC62QH0 – X Marks the Spot which is located on Northerly Island the man-made island created to house much of the fairgrounds. This cache description does a nice job outlining the history of the island for the fair and then as an airport.
GC8BEWE – Bear Down is located nearby and provides the history of Soldier Field
GC7B9M3 – Museum Campus Chicago is a nearby virtual cache that not only takes you to one of the best photo spots in the city, it provides some history of the buildings in and around the campus.
GC8E8VC – GCM Chicago’s Ultimate Adventure was placed by yours truly and is an easy walk from the Museum Campus
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