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Whiting, Indiana 119th Street Commercial District

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Historic Homes of Whiting, Indiana

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Historic Structures of

Whiting, Indiana

Historic Homes

Whiting Indiana (pop. 5,155) is a city with good harbor facilities on Lake Michigan just southeast of Chicago.

Because it is nestled between the cities of East Chicago and Hammond and has areas of dense development, this 1.3 square mile community gives the impression of being bigger than it is. Whiting and the nearby cities of East Chicago, Hammond, and Gary are part of the Calumet region, one of the nation's most highly industrialized areas. Products manufactured in Whiting include chemicals, metal products, and soap products. Whiting is the home of Calumet College of Saint Joseph.

Whiting's "main street" is 119th Street. The city is fortunate to have maintained a viable downtown area throughout its history. As a result Whiting boasts a large number of well-maintained and occupied historic structures and 119th Street maintains a unified and attractive appearance. Whiting is the home of picturesque neighborhoods and block after block of significant historic structures.

The city began its growth around the railroad crossing that intersects 119th street and connects Whiting to Chicago. But the real driving engine of Whiting's development was the Standard Oil Co. refinery, which almost single-handedly laid out the town. In 1889 that company began buying up Marsh and duneland for the construction of what would eventually become the world's biggest refinery. Whiting became a town and 1903 and experienced a period of dramatic growth during the 1920's.

In 1905, Standard Oil donated land and the Carnegie Foundation granted funds for a public library. The outstanding Romanesque Revival building was completed that same year.

Whiting's architectural assets are so great that it has received four pages on this site. Surprisingly, Whiting has not adopted historic tax credits or applied for recognition on the National Register of Historic Places, something it should do to maintain the appeal of its historic areas for the future.

Whiting, Indiana Historic Homes

A tree-lined street, and a close-knit community with sidewalks for children to play on and neighbors who know each other. These houses are across the street from the Whiting Public Library (1735 Oliver Street).


Whiting, Indiana Historic Home


Whiting, Indiana Historic Home


Whiting, Indiana Victorian Homes

A sturdy Victorian Four-Square brick home.


Whiting, Indiana Victorian Homes

Another view of the same home. Note the rusticated brick at the lower level and the stained-glass arched first-floor windows with the keystones which serve as brackets for the second-floor windows. Also note the antique lamppost.


Whiting, Indiana Historic Home

Of similar vintage, this house is sans porch and, unfortunately, not as well-maintained as the house above.


Whiting, Indiana Historic Home


Whiting, Indiana Prairie-style home

A well-kept Prairie-style home


Whiting, Indiana vinyl siding

Unfortunately, Like elsewhere in Northwest Indiana, the vinyl-siding salesmen have been busy in Whiting. Compare these two houses. The one on the right has had siding installed (and had other modifications made), the one on the left has not. In many cases, when siding is installed, historic features like gingerbread or other architectural details are covered up or removed entirely.


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