The Landscape Architects of Columbus, Indiana
Influential landscape architects Dan Kiley, Jack Curtis, and Michael Van Valkenburgh – all masters of modern landscape design – have made their marks on Columbus, just as they have made their marks on the field of landscape design.
Learn much more about Dan Kiley…
Landscape Architect Michael Van Valkenburgh’s projects in Columbus include Mill Race Park, The Front Door Project, Columbus Regional Hospital, the downtown streetscape, and The Bartholomew County Courthouse lawn.
Mill Race Park, the crown jewel of the Columbus Parks System and the anchor to the 27-mile People Trails, is a beautiful and nationally recognized downtown riverfront park. The park was named by Landscape Management magazine as one of the top 100 properties in the United States. Considered a remarkable story in landscaping circles, the former “death valley” was transformed into a stunning park that became the heart of the community’s green space efforts.
Recognizing that the park land is prone to flood, the plant materials that were chosen to withstand flooding. The structural materials of the Park, designed by Stanley Saitowitz, are made from red steel tubing, concrete, glass block and corrugated metal – all capable of standing up to high water.
Once an eyesore, now Mill Race Park is a community gathering place, a recreation and entertainment center, and a green buffer zone to a bustling downtown. The project was one of Van Valkenburgh’s early commissions. It won the award for outstanding new U.S. Park from Architectural Record in 1993 and an American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Design Merit Award in 1994.
Van Valkenburgh won the 2003 National Design Award in Environmental Design by the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and is the Charles Eliot Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design where he has taught since 1982, serving as chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture from 1991 to 1996. Recent projects include ASLA Greenroof Project, Allegheny Park, Wellesley College, and Harvard University.
At an interview in Columbus, Van Valkenburgh said, “It’s in many ways a very typical American city, and the array of the architecture and landscaping architecture that the public has access to is exemplary and it’s remarkable. I never can forget the first time I went to Columbus and arrived in town . . . I passed by Myron Goldsmith’s new Republic building with glass walls, and the orange presses of The Republic were turning, and it was magic, here was this small town with a newspaper and it was all visible from the street – you encounter things like that in Columbus, repeatedly.”