The Society for the Restoration of the Gary Bathing Beach
and Octave Chanute's Place in History
Click above for the Aquatorium's website, www.aquatorium.org
The Society - a non profit organization founded in 1991 to restore the bath
house at Marquette Park in Gary, Indiana, and to celebrate the aeronautical achievements
that occurred at Miller Beach in 1896.
Built in the 1920's, the bath house at Marquette Beach was very popular recreation
center for the steel workers of Gary and their families. A large stone structure
with ornate columns, deck balconies and changing rooms, it supplanted the highly
popular bath house that the Carr Family had operated before
World War I near the end of Lake Street. The Marquette Park bath house remained
a center well into the 1960's, when it closed and gradually fell into disrepair.
In April of 1991, a few brave souls decided to do something about the 'eyesore'
on the beach and formed the Chanute Aquatorium Society. Since then their
intrepid organizing has gathered people and money to
- Reopen the building to the public.
- Totally re-wire the electric system.
- Put on a new roof.
- Have the building declared a National Landmark.
- Secure a 40 year lease on the building from the city.
- Continue the work of rebuilding the shell of the building.
And all of this time
- 97 cents of each dollar raised has been spent on the building!
- Future plans include, besides completing the rebuilding, the Chanute Museum. In
1896, within a half mile of the Aquatorium, some very significant experiments in
the history of man's attempts to fly heavier than air machines took place. The museum
will chronicle Octave Chanute's
experiments and the events on the beach in the summer of 1896.
For more information about the Chanute Aquatorium Society, or to join, write
607 South Lake Street, Suite A
Gary, Indiana, 46403
or call 219-938-8080