WHITING, Indiana — A historic White Castle located less than a mile from Lake Michigan near the Indiana-Illinois border has been serving sackfuls of sliders since 1935. But the storied history of the Porcelain Castle is about to be dismantled, brick by brick.
According to the Times of Northwest Indiana, the 88-year-old Whiting White Castle – located on the corner of Indianapolis Boulevard and 119th Street in Whiting since 1935 – is to be replaced by a “newer, larger, more modern version”.
Located at 1879 Indianapolis Boulevard for nearly a century, Whiting White Castle is so firmly entrenched in the area’s history that even the Whiting-Robertsdale Historical Society honored the castle that guards Indianapolis Boulevard with commemorative postcards and an exhibit The museum pays tribute.
“Here at Whiting, we love our White Castles and are so happy they are standing despite being remodeled,” said Gayle Kosalko, museum director for the historical society. “We will definitely miss the look of the original Porzellanpalast.”
Kosalko believes that Whiting White Castle is the last of the porcelain restaurants found in all White Castles across the country. The original 1935 White Castle was built to resemble a small castle, inspired by Chicago’s water tower of the era. The Whiting White Castle was one of 50 built in this style in the Chicago area. In the many decades that followed, it was eventually remodeled and expanded.
Tom Dabertin, vice president of the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce, told the NWI Times that Whiting White Castle underwent a major renovation in the late 1960s and the addition of public toilets. Other additions included the addition of a drive-thru in the late 1980s.
Kosalko wrote that the Whiting White Castle has lived in “countless memories of countless people”. On the historical society’s website, she shared stories about her rich history, including the story of a woman named Phyllis Yanas, who recalled making $1 an hour working at the White Castle in the late 1950s, and how a Regular customer came in every night for hot chocolate and a donut.
The customer didn’t care much about the burgers and said they didn’t suit him well. But he took care of the service. The two eventually married
Phyllis wasn’t the only person to find love at Whiting White Castle, either.
“From budding romances to late-night burgers, a constant in our community since 1935 has always been our local White Castle, a major landmark here in Whiting,” Kosalko wrote.
The NWI Times reported that White Castle will honor the old store with a historic mark on the shit and a mural in the new restaurant’s dining room.
The Whiting-Robertsdale Historical Society has provided photographs to accompany this story.
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