Beverly Shores South Shore Railroad Station, Beverly Shores Indiana
The station was built in 1929 by Leo W. Post according to a design by Arthur U. Gerber for Samuel Insull, head of the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad (the South Shore Line). The railroad which began in 1901 as the Chicago and Indiana Air Line Railroad was reorganized and incorporated in 1925. As part of this revitalization process, the Beverly Shores station as well as several other stations (including a second station at Central Avenue in Beverly Shores) were built. Sometime before 1946 the large neon sign was added to the roof; it is currently owned by the town of Beverly Shores and leased to the South Shore Line until November 30, 2 034.3 The building itself is owned by the South Shore Line (HICTD) while the land on which it sits is owned by the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) which leased the land to the South Shore Line with a 99-year lease beginning August 17, 1929.
The Beverly Shores Station was closely linked to the history of the community of Beverly Shores. Beginning in 1926, real-estate developer, Frederick H. Bartlett marketed his subdivision at Beverly Shores to upwardly mobile families in Chicago's South Side. The electric railroad linked the city to the Indiana lakeshore and made it possible for people to commute to the beaches for the weekend. Prospective buyers rode the South Shore Line to Beverly Shores where Bartlett picked them up in a black Packard and showed them around the community. When the station was built in 1929, it was designed in a style closely resembling the Spanish Mission style preferred by Bartlett; he had built the town administration building and up to thirty model homes in that style using Leo W. Post as the contractor and builder.
The station was occupied at least until 1985 as the park files contain a note that the tenant had reported a December, 1985, gas bill of $240. The station closed for a brief period after that but was reopened in 1992 when preliminary plans were made to restore the structure. Until spring of 1994 the waiting room remained in use; the ticket booth had not been used since 1963 and the private residence had been vacant for some time.
The station, measuring approximately fifty-six feet by thirty-five and one half feet, is an asymmetrical, single-story building consisting of four main bays formed by two intersecting rectangles with one hipped and one gabled roof, a flat-roofed rectangular area, and a set-off, gabled rectangular area. Originally, the building had two main functions: it served as a ticketing area and waiting room for railroad passengers as well as a five-room private residence. These functions are shown on the exterior of the building which has a rectangular passenger station backing onto a rectangular ticket office attached to a more complicated residential area.
The building is wood-framed construction covered with stucco topped with a ceramic tile roof and supported on a poured concrete foundation. The windows to the building as well as the entrance to the waiting area of the station have been completely filled in with pressed plywood and neither part of the station is in use. Windows are a combination of small rectangular openings, larger roundarched windows, and even larger Tudor-style, pointed-arched openings. The building contained one sash window while all of the rest were either casement, fixed, or combinations of casement and fixed windows.
An arched portico under the intersecting gable to the left of center on the main facade shelters the entrance to the residential portion of the station which is oriented toward Broadway. A second entrance to the residential section is found on the rear facade. The entrance to the station waiting room, oriented toward the railroad tracks, appears to have been a broad arch sheltered under a deep eave supported by paired heavy wood brackets. The entrance contained a double front door with and adjacent window on either side. A twenty-five foot neon sign mounted to the roof of the station with two steel poles proclaims "Beverly Shores" in white script on a dark blue background. An open chimney has round-arched openings on all four of its sides and a ceramic-tiled cap that gives it the appearance of a mirador.