For most of the 20th Century the site where Beachwalk now stands was a sand quarry—the
sand was shipped to GM and Chrysler to create casting molds for engine blocks. As
mining was coming to an end, land developer Tom Moss saw an opportunity to convert
the former industrial land into a family vacation community based on the award-winning,
new urbanist town of Seaside, Florida. Mr. Moss negotiated with the mining company
to create an interior lake (Lake Kai) and form a berm on Highway 12 before sale
of the land was finalized.
Before construction began on the first home, Beachwalk built a raised, 700-foot
boardwalk to traverse the scenic, wooded dunes between Lake Shore Drive and Lake
Michigan and donated it to the city of Michigan City. This promenade is now used
by Beachwalk homeowners and guests, as well as the public. Groundbreaking on Phase
I, consisting of seven homes, took place in 1993 and was reviewed by Blair Kamin,
the Chicago Tribune’s architecture critic. By 2007, over 130 homes had been completed.
Over the years, Beachwalk has received many awards—articles have appeared in Coastal
Living, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, and
most Midwest papers.
The architecture of Beachwalk has been described as both traditional American, traditional
beach community, and traditional Michigan City. According to Moss, "To set up our
architectural codes we went to the Michigan City historical society and saw how
buildings were built in the area during the ‘20s and 30s. What we saw were very
attractive structures with metal roofs and big deep porches. We wanted the houses
to complement each other, but not to have a single style. Our homes are organized
into topologies and our codes require proven materials, but differences in style
enhance the pleasure of a walk around Beachwalk."
Through the cycles of the real estate market, Moss has charted a course for sustained
development where Beachwalk will continue to grow at a steady but comfortable pace,
with exciting new features and homes, over the next 15 years. Each year residents
and guests discover new reasons to spend their family time at Beachwalk.