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Historic Structures of
More than half of Orange
Co., in the scenic hills of Southern Indiana, is
devoted to the Indiana National Forest. Paoli is
the county seat..
Springs, 5 miles
from Paoli, near French Lick, is home to one of Indiana's most majestic
buildings, the West Baden Springs Hotel. Once touted as the Eighth
Wonder of the World, and a health mecca and gambling oasis, the
94-year-old hotel was recently saved from neglect through the purchase
of the Indiana Historic Landmarks Foundation.
Unfortunately, according to Wikipedia:
November 2010, a fire destroyed several buildings in Paoli's town
square. The fire, which probably began in the Old Orange County Bank
Building, burned six buildings. Most of the buildings on the square are
over 100 years old."
Just another example of how our nation's history is under threat due to neglect, abandonment and vice.
Below we see a church
in Paoli and a bank in West Baden Springs.
Distinguished 150 year-old Orange County
Courthouse (1847) in Paoli is an example of the Greek Revival
style of architecture (sometimes called Classic Revival).
The Greek Revival style is distinguished by the presence
of one or more (but not necessarily all) of the following
- Greek inspired columns and pilasters (decorative
features which imitate columns but are not load-bearing)
- Bold and unadorned exterior moldings
- Pedimented gables (the triangular top of the roof)
- Heavy cornices (overhanging projections at the top of
a roof) with unadorned friezes (area above the columns, just below the
- Horizontal transoms (bars or openings) above
The Greek Revival style can be distinguished by the
Federal or Jeffersonian styles by the absense of any fan or arch-shaped
windows, since the ancient Greeks did not use arches. Greek Revival
buildings are usually painted white in imitation of the white marble
used in ancient Greek structures.
Side and rear view
of the Courthouse, showing off the clock tower and weather vane, and
row of four brick chimneys on one side of the building. The clock tower
marks the building's status as the centerpiece of the town square.
This bank in West Baden Springs
(1917), may once have served wealthy patrons staying at the resort.
The building is an example of the Vault style of
architecture, which communicates massiveness, stability and enclosure
(a commonly-used and fitting architectural style for banks). The effect
is somewhat reminiscent of the fortified complexes of ancient times. In
some examples of vault architecture, the character is inspired by
Renaissance Italy or 18th-century France.
Generally two to three stories high, the vault has a
facade penetrated by a large, tall and generally narrow central
opening, and occasionally smaller ones on either side.
West Baden Springs Hotel
Excellent site on one of
Indiana's most important landmarks. Contains dozens of photos,
including historical photographs and documentation of the restoration