French Lick Springs Hotel
French Lick, Indiana 47432
Article by Lacey Williams
The hotel’s exterior architecture is fashioned in thevilla style is marked by paired windows and divisions between the levels by horizontal banding. The architect has distinguished the fifth floor by using flat arched pediments above the paired windows. The base of the has a white two-story porch with a bi-level crafted in the . The building then raises six stories high to form central and ending towers. Lining the central tower are two three-story influenced bay windows projecting from the .
The original building, called the Windsor, was constructed in a wooden frame in 1845 with two later additions in 1888. With the devastating fire of 1897, the Windsor was rebuilt in 1907 out of yellow limestone. The once “L” shaped layout was altered with further additions to resemble a “T.” At one time there were eight sided, red tiledcapping the octagonal shaped located at the ends of the . The also contained a wrap-around porch that stretched the full length of the building, but is now abruptly interrupted in the middle with the addition of the right wing.
The grand lobby is influenced by theperiod by being detailed and complex in contrast to the hotels exterior. Spread throughout the floor is a large made of small tiles. A with corner balconies, that is supported by both rounded and squared , frames the two-story lobby. The have a non-fluted shaft, are topped with golden , and are both superimposed and engaged. The ceiling is adorned with gold leafed and glazed plaster ornamentation of medallions and simplified leaf and flower designs. On the ceiling are large painted on canvas and encased in gold leafed, styled frames. The bright and active palette of golds, reds, and warm neutrals incorporates in this space and coordinates with multiple plaster embellishments and . Natural light floods in through windows, which reflects off of polished and golden surfaces that illuminates the space.
Murals Located in the Grand Lobby
Conrad Schmitt Studio has created sixon the ceiling depicting mythical scenes of heavenly creatures, gods, and humans. Each is approximately ten by four feet and is inspired from the painting style. The space of each is divided into three sections with a foreground depicting humans in dramatic poses, the mid-ground with the featured Greek god or goddess that depicts
- Pluto on his throne
- The musician Orpheus and his wife
- Charon the Boatman
- Persephone and her mother
- Cerberus, the two-headed dog
and the background creating the far off heavenly world with angels and cherubs. Eachis separated with embellished golden panels and boarders that frames and divides one from the other.
The inspiration for thesubject matter originates from one depiction of Pluto sitting upon his thrown holding a scepter. Statues and images of the god Pluto is a common theme that surrounds the hotel’s exterior and interior spaces. The Greek mythical god is the underwater healer and probably the inspiration in naming of Pluto Springs. There are also other multiple sculptures within and around various public areas throughout the hotel. Each sculpture is the unique and predominate feature of the space it inhabits.