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Columbus in the spotlight

To read feature articles about The Miller House and Garden, go here.

For a PDF version of the information below, click here.


Area Development Magazine

  • Columbus ranked the #1 small metro location 
  • “...Columbus, Indiana has been named the #1 small metro in the U.S. and best in the Midwest region. The Columbus, Indiana metropolitan statistical area also ranked an impressive #2 overall out of all 379 surveyed MSA’s in the nation. This is the third straight year that the Columbus, Indiana metro (population 79,587) has scored in the top three overall, achieving a #1 overall ranking in 2012 and up one position from last year’s #3 rank.”
         - Inside Indiana Business, June 23, 2014
  • “A look at how three Metropolitan Statistical Areas ranked in the top 15 of the ‘Recession-Busting’ category in Area Development’s 2014 Leading Metro Locations report are arising from the difficulties of the Great Recession and putting themselves on new growth arcs.”
         - Area Development Magazine, written by Dale D. Buss, June 23, 2014

The Wall Street Journal

  • An Architecture-Lover’s Road Trip: Some of the best modernist and contemporary buildings in the world are clustered in the Midwest along a route from Cleveland to Chicago
  • "Built by industrialist and major architectural patron J. Irwin Miller, this midcentury landmark, designed by a dream team including architect Eero Saarinen, is the epitome of an open-plan home—conversation pit and all—surrounded by meticulously maintained gardens."
  •  Story by Dan Rubinstein, June 2014

Indianapolis Star

  • Columbus among best metro areas for high incomes, low costs
  • "Residents of Columbus enjoy one of the best combinations of higher incomes and lower costs of living in the nation, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department."
  • "Of the nation’s 381 metro areas, Columbus had the 25th highest per capita personal income in 2012 after adjusting for consumer costs in the area, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis."
  • Story by Maureen GroppeStar, Washington bureau, April 24

Midwest Living

  • Built to Impress
  • "One of America's best displays of modern architecture awaits in Columbus, Indiana, which knows how to blend small-city hospitality with modern style."
  • "The anchor of any weekend in Columbus should be a tour of the most notable buildings...but like the girders supporting monuments, Columbus' many restaurants and shops bolster the headlining buildings and round out a getaway."
  • Story by Danny Lee, March 2014
  • View a PDF of this article here

Metropolis Magazine

  • Panoramic Views Of Columbus, Indiana’s Modernist Landmarks
  • “Justin Davidson, in a characteristically deft introduction to the book, notes that peering around in Columbus, ‘the puzzle acquires Easter Island proportions.’ Are we in Oz? How was all this possible?”
  • “The book is a welcome arrival both for those familiar with the town as well as those who are not. Surely, Columbus is hardly new to many of you, but the Schiff volume offers the unique advantage of panoramic photos with arresting looks at buildings, both intriguing angles and a vast scale.”
  • “Another great benefit of the volume is to showcase a variety of buildings that don’t make other, shorter accounts of Columbus.
  • “If a small-town engine tycoon could accomplish this in a place as implausible as Columbus, Indiana, where couldn’t it happen?”
  • By Anthony Paletta, posted Feb. 27, 2014, read more here

Columbus (Ohio) Monthly

  • Modern Wonder: Columbus is a best bet for a long weekend of architectural adventure
  • “Columbus is where you can . . . experience more mid-century modern design than would fit on a set of ‘Mad Men.’”
  • “Columbus is a place where context matters . . . once people hear that I.M. Pei built the pyramid at the Louvre . . . the astonishment over his construction of the Bartholomew County Public Library sets in.”
  • “Eliel Saarinen’s 1942 First Christian Church revolutionized not only Columbus but modern American architecture itself. Inside, there are noteworthy details in every nook - no inch of the building has been overlooked, untouched. The pews were conceived by a 20-something designer looking to make a name for himself (that name being Charles Eames).”
  • Columbus (Ohio) Monthly, Best Driving Vacations supplement, 2014


UnCubed Magazine

  • Small Town, Big Modernists
  • "This is a story that reaches across generations, illuminating the ways in which the history of modern architecture in America is intertwined with the histories of industrial development, private enterprise, and public service. It’s a story firmly rooted in Midwestern culture, but it’s as much a story about Indiana as it is about the country as a whole − getting right to the heart of one fundamental question: what is the value of investing in public architecture?"
  • "In 1953, Miller bought a 13.5-acre plot of land on the northwestern edge of Columbus and asked Eero Saarinen to design his family’s home there. Over the next four years Saarinen, along with interior designer Alexander Girard and landscape architect Daniel Kiley, worked to create what would become one of a handful of iconic glass houses signaling the advent of modernism in America, alongside Philip Johnson’s Glass House (1949), Charles and Ray Eames’ Pacific Palisades House (1949), Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (1951), and Eliot Noyes’ house in New Canaan (1954)."
  • "The buildings may serve a secondary function as archi-tourist attractions, but unlike much pilgrimage-worthy architecture, they serve primarily as inhabited, functional public spaces. Miller’s greatest achievement was not to persuade the giants of modernism to descend on a sleepy midwestern town. It was to make well-designed architecture ubiquitous and accessible enough to seem entirely warranted in a normal place. It was, overall, to make great architecture seem entirely....ordinary."
  • Issue 14, "Small Towns, Big Architecture" 
  • See the full article HERE >

Indianapolis Monthly

  • Street Savvy : Columbus
  • "This newly minted Indiana cultural district builds on its reputation for cool design"
  • "Known as Columbus's 'living room,' The Commons now houses a wickedly cool (and free) indoor playground."
  • "Owner Anthony Moravec considered every detail when restoring Zaharakos, an ice-cream parlor opened in 1900 and still known for its striking Green River sodas The museum section has one of the world's largest collections of marble soda fountains."
  • "The Columbus Area Visitors Center gift shop - recently doubled in size - carries certified Indiana Artisan handicrafts and a wide selection of books on (what else?) architecture. Arrive good and early to shop first."
  • Read a PDF of the full article here. See it at the Indianapolis Monthly website here.
  • August 2013

Modern in Denver

  • The Modern in Denver Photo Essay: A Day in the Life
  • "Joseph Irwin Miller fascinates me. Here is an individual who single-handedly shaped the architectural landscape of his entire hometown of Columbus, Indiana...
  • "Although the house has been photographed many times over the years (including by two of the greatest modernist photographers, Ezra Stoller and Balthazar Korab), I was excited to capture it through my own lens.
  • "...I also had the opportunity to take a journey into the other places where Mr. Miller spent his days: his office (which hasn't been photographed since a 1962 article in Progressive Architecture), the bank where he was chairman (it was the first glass-walled, open plan bank in the country) and his church (the last building built by architect Eero Saarinen).
  • "... I left with a greater appreciation of just how important good design is in our daily lives and how one person can have a dynamic influence on the built environment.
  • By David Lauer, Summer 2013
  • For a scanned PDF of this article, click here.
The New York Times
  • An Indiana Town Where Big Names Built
  • “I. M. Pei’s low, red-brick library on Fifth Street is just down the street and around the corner from the 139-year-old Bartholomew County Courthouse. A short walk from the courthouse is Paul Kennon’s AT&T Switching Station, with red, blue and yellow curved tubular sections resembling giant, colorful crayons. A few blocks away is Kevin Roche’s low, glass-walled Cummins Corporate Headquarters building with vine-covered trellises. A half-moon of glass is the three-story Columbus City Hall designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, also in the center of town.”
  • by Nancy Kriplen, May 10, 2013, read the article here

Midwest Living website

  • Columbus selected as Indiana’s Winter Getaway destination
  • “Explore more in Columbus, Indiana, a small city with a reputation for big design! For half a century, Columbus has been the canvas for world-class architects, boasting 70+ masterpieces of modern architecture and public art. For family fun, visit the community’s three-story children’s museum, a mind-blowing indoor playground and a turn-of-the-century ice cream parlor, all located within one block.”
  • January 2013


U.S. Department of the Interior

  • Republic Newspaper Office Named National Historic Landmark
  • The U.S. Department of the Interior named The Republic newspaper as the seventh Columbus structure to be named an historic landmark, saying: “The Republic is an exceptional work of modern architecture and one of the best examples of the work of Myron Goldsmith, a general partner in the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and a highly respected architect, architectural theorist, writer, and educator.”
  • October 2012

American History Magazine

  • As American as Modern Architecture
  • In the introduction to the issue, the editors say, “the pity is that thousands of pictures and words are unlikely to communicate the wonder of this place.”
  • “Columbus has six registered National Historic Landmarks of only 2,500 in the country. It is as though Columbus had a fabled ball team who happened to be designers, a Field of Dreams for the drafting-board set.”
  • by William L. Hamilton, October 2012

NPR Weekend Edition

  • Columbus, Indiana: A Midwestern Mecca Of Architecture
  • “...this town, in the middle of soybean country, is a mecca of architecture. The greatest designers, I.M. Pei, Eero and Eliel Saarinen, Cesar Pelli, Richard Meijer, Harry Weese, James Polshek, a veritable who’s who of modern masters, have done more than sixty public buildings here. (The American Institute of Architects ranks Columbus) right up there with Chicago, New York, San Francisco, the big guys. Amazing, for a town with just 44,000 residents.
  • ...(The Miller House and Garden is) a stunning, light-filled, 1957 house by Eero Saarinen, the white marble and glass house which could be a set for Mad Men,’ but with better ethics.
  • ...At a Cummins plant just outside of town, doing better is a theme posted on workstation wall signs. One in the lady’s room says, “Treating people with dignity and respect is a core value at Cummins.”
  • by Susan Stamberg, aired on on August 4, 2012
  • Hear the NPR audio here.
Pittsburgh Tribune
  • Columbus, Indiana, alive with modern architecture
  • “There’s no city anywhere quite like Columbus, have a public library designed by I.M. Pei across the street from a church designed by the great Finnish-American architect Eliel Saarinen, a fire station by Philadephia’s Robert Venturi, an elementary school by New York’s Richard Meier, a hospital by Robert A.M. Stern, also of New York, a town hall by Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and the list goes on and on - Eero Saarinen, Kevin Roche, Harry Weese, Edward Larabee Barnes, and many more, all of whom would definitely be hall-of-famers if there were a Cooperstown for architects...Slogans promoting small-town tourism tend to be insipid. But not in Columbus. Their slogan rings totally true: “Columbus, Indiana: Unexpected. Unforgettable.”
  • by John Conti, June 23, 2012

Area Development Magazine

  • Columbus Ranked First in Nation for Economic & Job Growth
  • “Area Development ranked 365 MSAs across 23 economic and workforce growth indicators. In the results we see that even amid the recessionary gloom, there were blooms of prosperity, and there are some places that have gotten back on their feet faster than others.”
    “Ranking 1st among the 100 Leading Locations overall, the small Indiana city of Columbus also led Area Development’s Top 20 Midwest Cities and Top 25 Small Cities rankings. Among small cities, Columbus placed 3rd in “Economic Strength” factors, 4th in “Prime Workforce Growth,” and 5th for its “Recession-Busting” indicators.
  • Summer 2012

Conde Nast Traveler

  • One of the World’s Best Cities for Architecture Lovers
  • Columbus is listed alongside fourteen cities in the world, such as Oxford, England and Florence, Italy.
  • “These 14 cities—some iconic, others surprising—embody certain eras of architecture so much that they provide travelers with living, breathing (and free) design exhibits . . . Columbus, Indiana has a population of only 44,000, but it’s a surprising trove of Modernism: The town claims more than 70 buildings designed by star architects, including I.M. Pei, Eero Saarinen, and Richard Meier...”
  • June 2012

  • In Search of Excellence: A trip to Columbus, Indiana,
    reveals the architectural genius of Eero Saarinen

  • “Walking in this bucolic place conjured up the reasons that we—who live in big bombastic cities—were drawn here. Whether we were crossing the traditional main street, with its old-fashioned ice cream parlor, or ambling through tree-lined neighborhoods, we encountered buildings by Gunnar Birkerts, I. M. Pei, and Robert Venturi, the stars that now populate our modernist and postmodernist firmament.”
  • by Susan S. Szenasy, Editor in Chief, posted June 8, 2012


  • One of America’s Best Small Towns for Business
  • Jack Shultz, the author of Boomtown, USA and an authority on economic development for rural America, put Columbus, Indiana on his list of the top ten small towns for business in America.
  • June 2012

League of American Bicyclists

  • Bike-Friendly City Recognition
  • Columbus was cited as one of Indiana’s seven bike-friendly communities by The League of American Bicyclists. The Bicycle Friendly America program recognizes communities that actively support bicycling.
  • May 2012

Forbes Magazine

  • One of America’s Prettiest Towns
  • “Described as the ‘Athens of the Prairie,’ Columbus, Indiana, is an unexpected municipal gem. The Midwestern town is home to a dizzying selection of public buildings and sculptures wrought by icons such as I.M. Pei, Eero Saarinen and Richard Meier...”
    “Considering that it’s such a small town, it’s an amazing place to visit,” says Don Wildman, host of Off Limits and Mysteries at the Museum on the Travel Channel. “It’s an incredible architectural town, and the whole place has that kind of vibe to it.”
  • March 29, 2012

  • Columbus, Indiana Rediscovered
  • “Unlike the obvious architectural hubs in the United States, such as Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., Columbus has a ‘have-to-see-it-to-believe-it’ quality.”
  • “Artists came, too (and continue to come). Dale Chihuly designed not one, but two amazing pieces. Most recently, he created the Sun Garden Panels in Suspended Circle for the Columbus Learning Center.”
  • by Judi Ketteler, posted December 14, 2011

AARP The Magazine

  • 10 Affordable Cities for Retirement
  • “Never heard of Columbus? That’s fine - residents love this little city’s under-the-radar charm. Less than an hour south of Indianapolis and east of Bloomington, Columbus has it all: design cognoscenti say the city’s innovative architecture ranks right up there with Chicago’s and San Francisco’s.”
  • Sept./Oct. 2011


House & Garden UK

  • Modern Arcadia 
  • “The sleekly minimalist garden by Dan Kiley at the Miller House in Columbus, Indiana is...the landscape equivalent of the architecture world’s Farnsworth House in Illinois, the celebrated glass-walled building by Mi
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