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The Miller House and Garden in the spotlight

Top 25 New Places to Stay, Eat, and Play
Midwest Living, Producer Kendra L. William
January/February 2012

  • "Ever wondered where the conversation pit got its start? You'll find out at this modernist home that opened for public tours last year."
  • See the web posting here >



  • America's Most Significant Modernist House, by Raul Barreneche,
    Travel+Leisure magazine, May 2011

    "On a placid suburban street in Columbus, Indiana, a block-long wall of towering, neatly clipped evergreens was the only clue of the presence of an architectural wonder. I had arrived."
  • "It is surrounded by some of the most beautiful Modernist gardens in the United States."
  • Read more here >


Twentieth-Century Fox, by Leslie Williamson
Dwell Magazine, May 2011

  • "In 1952, the late industrialist J. Irwin Miller and his wife, Xenia, commissioned a remarkable modernist triumvirate to create their home in Columbus, Indiana: Eero Saarinen designed the building, Alexander Girard masterminded the interiors, and Dan Kiley handled the landscape architecture."
  • "I have visited my fair share of iconic modern homes, but the moment I walked in, this one felt unique."
  • Read more here >


Living History, by Craig Kellog
Elle Decor magazine, May 2011

  • " unrivaled look at a pristine example of midcentury style."
  • "The interior of the Miller House is pure Mad Men."
  • "The Eames office invented the original Aluminum Group chairs for this house, and three rare prototypes remain, along with (Alexander) Girard's whimsical table settings."



Living Color
New York Times Style Magazine, April 3, 2011

  • "...the Indianapolis Museum of Art will open to the public the house that Eero Saarinen designed . . . giving design pilgrims one more reason to visit Columbus, Indiana."
  • "The stone- and glass-walled house (contains) meticulously preserved interiors by Alexandar Girard, who sank the world's first conversation pit into its living room."



Inventing the Modern Garden, by Ted Loos
Garden Design, May/June 2011

  • (The Miller gardens is) "what landscaping pioneer Daniel urban Kiley considered his best work."
  • "A Boston native who studied at (but didn't graduate from) Harvard, Kiley found inspiration for the Miller Garden on his airplane flights to and from Columbus. The Yankee was fascinated by the perfect squares of Midwestern farmland he saw below, and those geometries found their way into the Miller garden, particularly the checkerboard plantings of wildflowers."



Modern Family, by Amy Wimmer Schwarb
Indianapolis Monthly, May 2011

  • "From the moment it was completed, the project was heralded by the design world as a marvel of modernism."
  • "Until now, Ezra Stoller's photos had provided the only significant views of a private home that has been dissected by architectural historians, studied by pupils of mid-century America, and ogled by modern-design devotees."
  • See more photos here >


Step Right In (featured
Modernism Magazine, Summer 2011 (featured on cover)
By John Gendall

  • The landscape, with its cleanly articulated geometric plantings, is widely considered a seminal modernist design. Its formal grid locks into that of the house, fitting...“like hand-in-glove.”
  • View a PDF of the entire article (the file is VERY large, may be slow to load).
  • Visit the Modernism magazine website.


Miller House Reopens
The Magazine Antiques, May-June 2011

  • " has two other exceptional features: bright, folk inflected modernist interiors by Alexander Girard, and one of the great gardens of the twentieth century by Dan Kiley, both of which perfectly dramatize its architecture. When he wrote about the Miller residence in these pages, Martin Filler predicted that 'it will be hailed as a major revelation when it finally opens to the public.' That revelation is now at hand.


Modern Marvel, by Sally Nalk Nancrede
Indianapolis Star newspaper, April 23, 2011

  • "Stepping into the living room of the Miller House in Columbus is, literally, stepping into the history of the modern design movement."
  • "The (dining) table . . . inspired the white pedestal Tulip Chair used on the original "Star Trek" series and is one of the most important icons of modern design."


Columbus, Ind. house touted as modernist marvel, by Steven Rosen
Cincinnati Enquirer, May 6, 2011

  • "The rectangular Miller House, hidden by hedges from the street and surrounded by a 13½-acre lot, lives up to its reputation as a modernist marvel."
  • "...every single object in the house belonged to the Millers, so a tour provides an intimate glimpse into the way they lived. And the design has some spectacular features."



Columbus, Indiana, featuring the Miller House and Gardens
Urban Indy web blog, written by Kevin Kastner, Feb. 2013

  • "Let me say, if you ever have a chance to tour this facility, don’t delay, and hope for a sunny day, as the interior is punctured with skylights at practically every turn."
  • "Columbus is truly a testament to the influence that a single individual can have on a community. I left feeling inspired, wondering how I could have a greater impact on my own city of Indianapolis."
  • Read the full story here


Dan Kiley: A great yet little known Modernist
By Charles A. Birnbaum
Posted Feb. 10, 2013

  • "As landscape architect Peter Walker, the 9/11 Memorial designer, said of the property: 'For many of us, that was where Modernism began.'
  • "As a former Kiley employee, Gregg Bleam wrote: '[T]he Miller garden represents transformation ... to the use of the grid as the primary ordering device.' He added: 'Kiley extended the lines of the interior rooms ... to form a structure of grids that would order the surrounding gardens. By using the classical planting forms of bosques, hedges, and allées juxtaposed against flat ground planes of crushed stone or lawn, Kiley extended the diagram of the house design to the remaining site.'"
  • Read the full story here.



The road to home envy
10 best iconic modern houses in North America

By George Hobica
Posted July 14, 2012

  • "Before he went on to design the iconic TWA Terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, or St. Louis’ world-famous Gateway Arch, Eero Saarinen was commissioned by industrialist J. Irwin Miller to design what’s been called the most significant mid-century modern home ever built. True or not, the house is pretty darn cool — and pretty darn large, nearly 7,000 square feet of glass and steel, its presence enhanced by the equally impressive surrounding gardens."


Eero Saarinen’s Miller House Featured
By Judi Ketteler
Posted Dec 12, 2011

  • "With its flat roof, stone and glass walls, and grid of skylights, the Miller House is Saarinen through and through. The geometric gardens and play of land and space is Kiley at his best. And Girard filled the inside of the Miller House with mid-century modern patterns, bold colors, and exquisite forms."
  • Read more here >


Miller House: A House Museum That's Still A Home
By Paul Needman, Huffington Post
Posted Oct. 27, 2011

  • "What's clear now is that the Miller House is special as much for the fact that it still feels like a home as it is for its famous Alexander Girard interiors ... But while visitors to two other important house museums that opened in the last decade, the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe in Illinois and the Philip Johnson Glass House in Connecticut, gain an appreciation for thoughtful architecture, they can't possibly imagine living in those spaces ... That's not the case here at the Miller House."
  • Read more here >



Here lived Midwest’s Medici of design
By Judith Turner-Yamamoto, Globe Correspondent
Posted October 2, 2011

  • "Located on the edge of town, far from the growing clutch of architectural gems, the home of the man who drove the architectural miracle that is Columbus - a small town where the world’s greatest talents converged to design schools, banks, office buildings, corporate headquarters, churches, and houses - Miller House sequestered its low-slung, blue-grey-slate magnificence behind a series of staggered hedges for more than a half century."
  • "Sited on 13 acres on a series of bluffs above the Flat Rock River, the home of this Medici of the Midwest reads like a who’s who of midcentury modern design: architecture by Eero Saarinen (Kevin Roche was the main design associate), interiors and accessories by Alexander Girard; panoramic minimalist garden views sculpted by Dan Kiley; furnishings by Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Hans Wegner; textiles by Jack Lenor Larsen."
  • Read more here >



The Critical Role of the Client
By Cathleen McGuigan, Editor in Chief, Architectural Record
Posted August 2011

  • "It takes a great client to make a great building, as architects like to say when they’re feeling modest. One of the major patrons of the 20th century put it this way: 'Great architecture is ... a triple achievement. It is the solving of a concrete problem. It is the free expression of the architect himself. And it is an inspired and intuitive expression of his client.' Those were the words of J. Irwin Miller..."
  • Read more here >



The Miller House, Reborn by Julie Iovine
Wall Street Journal, posted May 28, 2011

  • "It is not only a landmark of modern architecture but also a fine example, possibly the finest, of a kind of modernist design with which too few are familiar, one that is warm, livable and majestic as it flows together with the landscape."
  • "For anyone associating modernism with cold comforts, the interiors by (Alexandar) Girard, a cosmopolitan who loved folk art, are startling."
  • "Such nuance and exuberance are not what one expects to see in a High Modern icon with white marble walls. That confident collaboration between exquisite design and real life, of course, is what makes the Miller House so interesting. It is a house all aspiring titans should examine before building big themselves."
  • Read more here >
  • View the print version here >

Mid-Century Time Capsule, by Alan G. Brake
Architect's Newspaper, posted May 25, 2011

  • "An invitation to the Miller House in Columbus, Indiana was something that architects coveted. Now the public can see what all the fuss was about."
  • "Girard’s adjusting hand is very much on display, balancing Saarinen’s cool, almost corporate architecture, with warm, unexpected—even occasionally manic—decoration. But one never overwhelms the other."
  • "The house served as a crucible for innovative industrial design. Girard and Saarinen worked closely together and with the Millers, who were becoming well versed in modern design, as well as collaborated directly with Charles Eames on furnishings."
  • Read more here>

Introducing the Miller House, Time Magazine
Posted May 12, 2011

  • "A Modernist gem from the 1950s by Eero Saarinen opens to the public in Columbus, Indiana, already a required stop for architectural tourism."
  • See more photos >



Making the Modern House Home, by Alexandra Lange
The Design Observer Group web site, posted April 11, 2011

  • " can now be seen as a link in the chain of glass houses that announced the arrival of modernism in America, and remain the icons of their respective architects' work. Examples include Philip Johnson's Glass House (1949), Mies van der Rohe's 1951 Farnsworth House, the Eameses' Pacific Palisades home (1949), and the family version built by Eliot Noyes down the road from Johnson in New Canaan (1954)."
  • "To ensure the house’s livability, Irwin and especially Xenia Miller hired a secret weapon: Alexander Girard. Girard’s contributions show up as spots of color, populating the minimalist architecture with texture and whimsy."
  • "Of the famous glass houses, only the Noyes House, like this one, was built for a family. At the Noyes House, a certain New England Spartanism prevailed, with stone floors, Colonial chairs, and an outdoor passage from living to bedrooms (the Noyes kids say: chilly!). The Miller House was far more luxurious and aspirational."
  • "A visit to the Miller House would not be complete without a tour of some of Columbus’s other amazing modern landmarks.
  • Read more here >   


AD Classics: Miller House and Garden, by Megan Sveiven
Arch Daily web site, posted March 2, 2011

  • "An architectural tradition developed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, this house encompasses some of the most fundamental aspects of the international Modernist aesthetic, including an open and flowing layout, flat roof and vast stone and glass walls. Saarinen also included ideas of the main walls of public areas extending from floor to ceiling and cut out of marble several inches thick. The exposed edges eliminate a sense of separation between interior and nature through use of huge panes of glass."
  • Read more, and see photos here


It's Miller Time, by Sharon McHugh
World Architecture News, May 9, 2011

  • "...what’s most interesting about the Miller House is that it was conceived at the height of the experience of Modernism and by three designers who were at the peak of their careers: with Saarinen building his most important domestic commission, Girard doing his most beautiful interiors and Kiley’s gardens being regarded as some of the masterpieces of 20th century landscape architecture. At the centre of this amazing triumvirate was Mr. Miller himself, that rare client who gave these designers free range to do as they like..."
  • Read more here




The Eames Aluminum Group story, on the Herman Miller web site.

View David Foster's nice collection of photos of the Miller House and Garden here  

Shop the Herman Miller store.  



View a video on the Miller House, posted by the Indianapolis Music of Art  



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