Some knew. I did not. I had no idea. Because I was uniformed. Uneducated. I was the poster boy for architectural ignorance. Now, I’m on my way to enlightenment. The first step, they say, is to recognize the problem. My problem was I had no idea that Columbus, Indiana was an architecturally significant city. While there are some relatively “old” buildings in the city (a city of only about 45,000 people), most of the most significant architecture, and public art, came to be after the chairman of Cummins Engines (J. Irwin Miller) offered to pay the architectural fees for a new school for the city, provided he could pick five architects from which the city could then select one. That opened the door to a devotion to architecture that continues today. Several Pritzger Prize winners have done work in Columbus, including Kevin Roche, I.M. Pei, Robert Venturi, and Richard Meier.
Though we spent the better part of a day and a half in Columbus, we saw only a fraction of the art and architecture. We didn’t, for example, go into the J. Irwin Miller home; the tours were booked. We didn’t go inside many of the buildings we wandered past, only because there just wasn’t enough time.
My limited photographic skills, coupled with the limited capabilities of my cheesy little iPhone and iPad cameras, do not do justice to the architecture of Columbus, IN, so this post will rely heavily on links to the work of professionals. The links are worth a look:
Miller House by Eero Saarinen, Dwell Magazine
Miller House by Eero Saarinen, New Republic Magazine
Architecture of Columbus, CVB links to significant architecture in Columbus
Second Street Bridge, Image from City of Columbus
University Center for Art and Design, Columbus (photo courtesy of Columbus Area Visitors Center)
Public Art in Columbus, CVB links to art of Columbus
Architects With Work in Columbus, CVB link
Below are photos I snapped while wandering around and about in Columbus. Click on the image to enlarge it.