[Society Letterhead]

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.

The Society for the Restoration of the
Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium
and Octave Chanute's Place in History

There are two pages on my website relating to the Society and the Aquatorium specifically. For more information on the Aquatorium and its history go to The Gary Bathing Beach Bath House - now the Aquatorium.

In addition, for the 100th anniversary of the Bath House's opening, videographer Paul Nelson* put together a 6.23 minute engaging video of its history. That can be seen at https://vimeo.com/740770500/bdf7f7be5c

*Facebook users can follow his efforts for Northwest Indiana history at Regionology.

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.
  • Completed the East Wing, now the Tuskegee wing with its lovely outdoor garden and indoor meeting room.
  • Completed the West Wing, now the Chanute wing with a museum honoring Octave Chanute's significant aeronautical experiments in 1896, within a half mile of the Aquatorium. The museum pictures Octave Chanute's experiments and the events on the beach. See the Chanute pages on this website for that history.
  • Erected a full scale reproduction of the Chanute Glider as well as a statue.
  • Erected a scale P-51 fighter plane flown by Tuskegee Airmen and a statue dedicated to their service.
  • 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!

For more information about the Chanute Aquatorium Society, or to join, write
"The Society"
607 South Lake Street, Suite A
Gary, Indiana, 46403
or call 219-938-8080
or visit its website on a new page.

Page created years ago, updated September 2022

© Text copyright: Steve Spicer

Feel free to contact me about this page.