HISTORY OF THE MANSARDS

The original developers view plans for
The Mansards after ground breaking.

The history of The Mansards Apartments is a rich and varied one.  Since its inception in the mid-1960s the community has been an integral part of the Town of Griffith, housing nearly 20% of the population of Griffith and providing a strong financial base for the township.

The Mansards Apartments was the brainchild of local Indiana developer James Dye.  At that time in the 1960s, very few apartment rental communities offered clubhouses, pools and other such amenities to their residents; most rentals were either in drab block buildings consisting of a few units, or located as part of a split-level private home. 

 Dye envisioned a large community built on the concept of quality - both in the overall construction and resulting lifestyle once the project was completed.  His vision of  TheMansards was based on research on the growing demand for exclusive luxury apartment rentals by single professionals and couples.
Building developers and Town of Griffith officials
on the construction site at the North side of The Mansards.

The first phase of construction south of Ridge Road began in late 1965 using advanced building methods of the time.  All buildings had energy efficient double pane windows, vapor barriers built between fully insulated double-thick walls, and sound proofing installed between each apartment.  The hallways featured brick interior corridor walls, with open stair treads made from solid wood laminated beams.  By December of 1966, the South section with 368 units were completed and occupied. 

The final stages of the first buildings
at the South Side of The Mansards.
The second phase of the development north of Ridge Road with 969 units was completed in the early 70s, making The Mansards Apartments the largest rental community in Northwest Indiana.  The entire community was built amongst natural woodland and was further enhanced by the planting of an additional 1,000 trees of all varieties, and 10,000 tulips, roses, petunias and mums.  The creation of a lake provided a natural refuge for local ducks and other wildlife, and the courtyards between buildings were enhanced with water courses, barbeque areas, and swimming pools. 
Also completed by the early 70s was the private tennis facility MatchPoint Tennis Club.  Located in the northeastern section of the complex, Match Point was the largest indoor tennis club in Northwest Indiana and open to both residents and the public.  The club featured eight indoor courts and four outdoor courts and had a membership of over 1,400. 

Former Senator Dick Lugar
The Mansards Apartments was the social center for Griffith, and was known for hosting signature events not just for their resident s but also for town, state and federal officials.  Regular festivities included the annual October Fest, live band concerts, community parties attended by over two thousand persons, hot dog and beer trucks for spring parties, and evening black-tie dinners.  Dignitaries such as former Indiana senators Richard Lugar, Birch Bayh, former Indiana Governor and HHS Secretary Otis Bowen and Lt. Governor Robert Rock attended some of these affairs and political events held at The Mansards
Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkas.

One notable celebrity who spent time at The Mansards include former Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus who was a regular fixture at the community’s pools while visiting family members lived at The Mansards

Over the years some improvements and additions were made to the community.  The clubhouse in the South was renovated and re-named The Cricket Club, a sports-themed bar filled with vintage sports memorabilia from historic sporting events from the 1920s, 30s and 40s.   

A fitness center, along with whirlpools and saunas, were added to the tennis facility which was renamed MatchPoint Tennis & Fitness Club.

The recently renovated Cambridge Club on the north side of The Mansards.
The clubhouse in the north of the community was renovated twice and called The Cambridge Club.  This 4,000 square foot building houses a heated indoor pool, a resident’s lounge, a billiard room and a computer lounge. 

Also located in The Cambridge Club is The Hollywood Room, a large banquet room with costumes worn by the stars of the silent movie period of the 1900s on display, alongside portraits and pictures of legendary actors from the Golden Era of Hollywood.  

The Mansards Apartments still remains an active member of the Griffith community.  Currently, TheMansards is partnered with Purdue University Calumet with their research on the environmental impact excessive nitrogen have on plants native to Lake Michigan, and its effect  on the life cycle of the federally protected Karner Blue Butterfly. 

The Hollywood Room in The Cambridge Club.
A Canine Agility Training Center facility was built on land donated by The Mansards and is used by local K-9 units of Northwest Indiana police departments for the development and training of police dogs in various roles of law enforcement. 

With its unique history, contribution to the local community, varied and wide range of amenities, The Mansards Apartments is still today considered the premier apartment rental community in Northwest Indiana, providing the quality of lifestyle imagined so many years ago.