Two concentric rows of rooms encircled the domed atrium. The inner row of rooms looked down on the atrium. The outside rooms overlooked the landscaped grounds. The rooms for the guests were located on the second through the fifth floor. The first floor contained the lobby, meeting rooms, offices, dining area, and shops. The sixth floor housed the mineral baths, for which the hotel was famous. The floor space in the hotel proper was 237,720 square feet, and the atrium covered an additional 31,416 square feet.
The original hotel promotional literature cited 708 rooms at the hotel. The key word is promotional, as Sinclair was a man for his times and prone to embellishing his domain. Therefore, as for the actual number of rooms in the hotel, this remains a subject of conjecture.
Students of the Northwood Institute, who actually counted the number of rooms, estimated that no more than 500 rooms could have existed. Even in their era, walls were already removed and rooms had been reconfigured to make an accurate count difficult to attain.
Undoubtedly, the rooms varied in size and usage. On the sixth floor, for instance, were the mineral baths and sauna rooms. In addition, the hotel rooms were much smaller than rooms of today would be. These rooms were usually without private baths--even though Sinclair led people to believe otherwise.
The number of rooms that encircle the atrium is also difficult to state. For example, the count cannot be based upon the number of windows or balconies. During the restoration, the rooms have been the last phase of the project. The new owner will decide how the rooms will be finished.
E-mail interview with Kent Abraham, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, on November 12, 1998.
Johnson, Mary G. "Baden Tab Cook Interview," www.tmnews.com.
Personal interview with Floyd Nicholson, West Baden Springs Hotel tour guide, on October 29, 1998.
"West Baden Hotel," Times-Mail News, February 2, 1998.