If you adore mid-century architecture and art, put Columbus (Indiana!) at the top of your list of road-trip destinations.
Columbus sports more than 70 landmark buildings and works of art designed by 20th century architectural masters, including Eero Saarinen, I.M Pei and Harry Weese, Richard Meier and Robert Venturi.
Seven of these treasures already have been designated as National Historic Landmarks. Many more warrant
So how did Columbus become a living portfolio for mid-century legends?
The city’s architectural renaissance began with the late J. Irwin Miller. Miller was a top executive at Cummins Inc., a diesel engine manufacturer, whose offices and factories were based in Columbus.
Miller, trying to attract the nation’s best and brightest professionals to work for Cummins, believed that architectural excellence would help transform Columbus into a desirable place to work, live and raise a family.
In 1957, he offered to pay the architect’s fees for the Lillian C. Schmitt Elementary School, designed by Harry Weese, if the school board would agree to select an architect from a list provided by Miller. This process, repeated several times over, eventually became the Cummins Foundation Architectural Program.
Today, more than 50 projects have been sponsored by the foundation. Plus, a host of other property owners and benefactors have taken the hint, commissioning private projects that have helped raise the bar for design in Columbus.
Roll into town and be sure to hit these highlights:
Visit the Columbus Area Resource Center for more info:
506 5th St
Columbus, IN 47201