How to Live Rent-Free in America’s Newest National Park

A few weeks ago, the US added Indiana Dunes to its list of National Parks. It’s the first National Park established since 2013 and only the fifth in this century. And it’s drop-dead gorgeous, comprising 25 miles of prairie and beach along the southern shore of Lake Michigan.  

It’s also, if you play your cards right, your potential new home. State nonprofit Indiana Landmarks just posted the world’s ultimate fixer upper. Within the park sits a steel-and-glass duodecagon dwelling called “the House of Tomorrow,” which once made waves at the 1933-1934 Chicago World’s Fair. The derelict home is in need of privately-funded restoration, and whoever provides it will be able to grow old there, living entirely rent-free. 

1-2 (2 images)

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger once dubbed the House of Tomorrow “one of the true early monuments of American modernism.” He might have been on to something. This home is wacky and must’ve seemed even wackier 80 years ago. Anyone interested in restoring the property will have to cough up up to $3 million — Indiana Landmarks has assembled a team of archiects and designers intent on bringing back the 1933 vision, but it’s not going to be easy. Between floor-to-ceiling “glass curtain walls,” outdoor terraces and a strange detached garage, it isn’t the most architecturally intuitive home. 

It’s got one hell of a history though — apparently including a dishwasher and central air conditioning when it debuted in the ’30s. Indiana Landmarks is accepting proposals now; they’ll need to confirm you can afford the project and understand the terms of the deal. Some stipulations: it’s a single-family residential, comes with a 50-year sub-lease, you can’t take out a mortgage, the home has to be opened to the public at least one day each year, work should start by late September of this year … and you can’t turn the thing into an Airbnb. (Shame, you’d make a killing.)

For more information on submitting a proposal, head here

Main image via Indiana Dunes National Park / Instagram
Inline images via Indiana Landmars