Click above for the Aquatorium's Website, www.aquatorium.org
The bathhouse, now renamed the "Aquatorium", was built in 1921 and
as a bathhouse it is a unique structure in the portfolio of it's architect
George Washington Maher, who also designed the Pavilion. The Aquatorium
is on the National Park Service's National
Register of Historic Places, one of two Miller buildings on the Register
(the other being the Miller Town Hall at Grand Blvd and Miller Ave). For years after
it was built it was a focal point of Miller, drawing visitors from all over the
region and Illinois on the hot days of summer. Gradually falling into disrepair
it was closed in the 1960's. In the 1990's efforts to restore it were undertaken
by The Aquatorium Society. Since then hundreds
of thousands of dollars have been raised for it's restoration and in the spring
of 1997 the Gary City Council appropriated one million dollars for another phase
of its restoration.
The Gary Bathing Beach Bathhouse circa 1925.
An early example of pre-cast concrete modular construction, the restoration has
been a replication of the original. Ninety percent of the building is built
with only six basic cast blocks, the basic being the T-Block, a precursor of today's
standard concrete block. Costs prohibited the duplication of this technique in the
building of the new wing which is a replacement of the east shower area.
In the fall of 1997 the contract was let to Lee Construction Management of
Miller for major construction to begin in the spring of 1998. After demolition of
the east showers and placement of a slab, the cornerstone for the new wing was laid
in January of 1999 and this initial project was completed in July of 1999.
Sizable donations or appropriations are still required to meet the costs of the
original museum plans for the building. In the spring of 2000 major reconstruction
of the second floor slab will be made which will water proof the enclosed areas
below. With more money the demolition of the west showers will take place
and be replaced with the Chanute Wing, a mirror image to the new Tuskegee Wing.
The cornerstone for The Tuskegee Airmen Wing of the new museum was laid January
Click on these images for a bigger view: (then use your back button)
View from the beach.
The Aquatorium is available for meetings, weddings, all sorts of events. Contact
Jan at 219-938-1986 to book
the Aquatorium and arrange catering.
of the Aquatorium are at Tim Arends WWW site on Indiana Historic Preservation.