tour on the plaza


Columbus, Indiana library plaza with First Christian Church

Find out how a small town in the Midwest became an architectural mecca.

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Read what they are saying about Columbus in magazines, newspapers, and on the web.

To request photos of Columbus, contact dnissen(@) for access  – preview images on SmugMug. Also, browse our website for images of architecture and  public art.
Columbus, Indiana community brand

Click HERE to download Columbus logos / brand materials.

Contact Info.

  • Erin Hawkins, Director of Marketing
    506 Fifth Street
    Columbus, Indiana 47201

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blog post - architecture in Columbus, Indiana


blog post - microbreweries in Columbus, Indiana


blog post - I-65 attractions in Columbus, Indiana


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The Basics

  • Columbus, Indiana, (population 47,000+) is ranked sixth in the nation for Architectural Innovation and Design by the American Institute of Architects, right behind Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington DC.
  • Columbus is home to seven buildings designated as National Historic Landmarks by the National Park Service.
  • Most of downtown Columbus is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The Columbus Area Visitors Center offers a wide variety of guided and self-guided architecture tours, including tours of the Miller House and Garden, one of the most important examples of Mid-century Modern residential architecture in the country.

What’s New: State Cultural District

  • The newly-formed Columbus Arts District has earned official state designation as an Indiana Cultural District, recognizing the significance of the city’s rich collection of arts, architecture, entertainment, and cultural offerings, and its vision for the future. The designation, announced December 7, 2013, by the Indiana Arts Commission, makes the Columbus Arts District one of only five official Indiana Cultural Districts in the state, and along with Nashville, the first to receive the designation since 2009.
  • The designations of Columbus and Nashville, along with the Bloomington BEAD District’s designation in 2009, make the three communities the only geographically adjacent Indiana Cultural Districts in the state, perfect for a weekend getaway.

A Growing Microbrew Scene

  • Bartholomew County is now home to three microbreweries. Columbus area breweries include:
  • 450 North Brewing Company
  • Power House Brewing Co. (Columbus Bar)
  • Zwanzigz Pizza

Newest Historic Landmark

  • The Republic Newspaper building, designed by Myron Goldsmith in 1971, earned National Historic Landmark (NHL) status from the National Park Service in October of 2012, bringing the NHL count in Columbus to seven.
  • Goldsmith, a leading American architect with the firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in the mid-20th century, studied under legendary master architect Mies Van Der Rohe, whose influence is apparent in the design of the modernist structure.

Newest Tours

  • In addition to the popular Columbus Architecture Tour, Cell Phone Tour, and Miller House and Garden Tour, the Columbus Area Visitors Center has expanded its tour offerings, providing visitors with a more in-depth experience. New tours include:
  • Downtown Walking Tour
    The highlight of this one-hour guided tour is an insider’s look at 301 Washington Street, the personal office of community benefactor and champion of the arts, J. Irwin Miller. This is the first time the public has been granted access to this unique space, with custom interiors by legendary mid-century designer Alexander Girard.
  • Miller House and Garden Curator’s Tour
    This experience is aimed at those interested in a more in-depth experience of the Miller House and Garden. A knowledgeable member of the Indianapolis Museum of Art staff leads this tour for a special, more leisurely experience of the property.
  • Miller House and Garden Photo Tour
    This tour offers visitors the opportunity to capture their own photographs of the iconic house.
  • Miller House and Garden Landscape Tour
    The Miller Garden is regarded as one of America’s most important modernist landscapes. A specialist guide leads this experience for a more extensive tour of the property with emphasis on the garden and landscape.

The Haw Creek Heritage Center

  • The Bartholomew County Historical Society welcomes visitors to its newest destination, the Haw Creek Heritage Center. Located just blocks east of Hope’s charming town square, the center provides hands-on art experiences, informative exhibits and one-of-a-kind keepsakes for purchase. This fully accessible building houses ever changing exhibits that focus on the art and history of the Bartholomew County area. You may also see artists at work in one of the artist studios housed in the building. Otis’ Emporium, the center’s store, provides a wide selection of hand crafted and historically inspired wares for every taste. Most items are made by local artisans and many can only be found there! The center is open to the public Tuesday-Friday from 9-4 and the first Saturday of each month from 10-2. Additional hours are available upon request. 111 Aiken Street, Hope, IN 47246

Library Plaza

  • The Bartholomew County Public Library Plaza is one of the most architecturally significant spaces in Columbus. Currently the plaza, completed in 1969, is undergoing an extensive refurbishment. While remaining true to the original design by legendary architect, I.M. Pei, project highlights include a larger ramp access and side stairs, Wi-Fi throughout the plaza, granite steps that will be safer and less prone
    to weathering and a shaded walkway and seating between the Library and Visitors Center. Also in the space between the Visitors Center will be a new piece of public art, Modern Totum, by sculptor Martin Beach.

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