Miller House and Garden in the Media Spotlight

the architect's newspaper - miller house landscape refresh

Landscape Refresh Complete

The Architect’s Newspaper – “One of the most-visited architectural tourism sites in a Midwestern city famously brimming with architectural tourism sites has emerged from an extensive landscape revamp.”

the architect's newspaper - miller house landscape refresh

Bucket List Destination

ADPRO – “AD PRO asked architecture and design experts to name their bucket list destinations across the globe…this generous, friendly, spacious house is where Girard . . . became a kind of interior consultant to the Millers, suggesting and advising them on new purchases for many years.”

the architect's newspaper - miller house landscape refresh

Aluminum Group

Architectural Digest –  “The Aluminum Group chair traces back to the Miller House, the 1957-built Columbus, Indiana, home of industrialist scion J. Irwin Miller that frequently appears on must-see modern architecture lists to this day…onlookers can still spot a set of Eames Aluminum Group chairs perched on the patio of the Miller House”

Midwest Living on Miller House landscape

Iconic modernist garden

Midwest Living  –  “This masterpiece in Indiana dates to the 1950s—and it’s packed with dreamy design inspiration.”

Midwest Modern: Inside The Magic Of Eero Saarinen’s Miller House

“…the Miller House is the only surviving domestic interior designed by Alexander Girard that is open to the public…’ says Shelley Selim, curator of design and decorative arts at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
“The (custom) rug provides a really wonderful insight into Girard’s relationship with the Millers; they were extremely important clients for him.”
“It’s an amazing gem that’s been preserved for so long,” says Selim. “The Miller House is one of the greatest examples of modernist domestic architecture that exists in the world today.”

ATOMIC RANCH / Written by Jen Jones Donatelli / Sep 2020

The Story Behind Eero Saarinen’s Iconic Pedestal Table

“Soon after its 1957 introduction, the Pedestal table was everywhere, from modern homes across the nation to commercial interiors. A custom version with marble top, terrazzo base, and functioning fountain was devised for Saarinen’s iconic Miller house in Columbus, Indiana.”

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST  / by Hannah Martin / Sep 2019

“What’s remarkable about the video is not only how it captures Girard’s colorful legacy, but also how it brings his designs to life.”

“Girard’s work for Herman Miller gained him international recognition, but it was only one small part of his career arc.”

CURBED / By Alissa Walker / Aug 2019

“American modernism is typified by three midcentury homes glorified in equal part by architecture geeks and tourists: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Mies Van Der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, and Philip Johnson’s Glass House. Since it opened as a house museum in 2011, another home in small town Columbus, Indiana, has been welcomed into that lofty club.”

“It is chock-full of interior delights, from the concrete tulip-shaped table that was the early prototype for Saarinen’s now-iconic furniture, to the floating fireplace, to the piano whose underside is painted red.”

CURBED / by Kelsey Keith / Aug 2019

“The Miller House and Garden features a custom-made sofa in the open-plan living area designed by Saarinen with textiles by Girard. The home was widely published and is in part credited for the popularity of conversation pits in the 1950s and 1960s.”

“The Miller House and Garden, completed in 1953, is a one-of-a-kind showcase of the work of architect Eero Saarinen, designer Alexander Girard, and landscape architect Dan Kiley at a single residence.”

DWELL / May 2019 / written by Kate Reggev

“Will Miller remembers skateboarding along the perimeter of his family’s home, a marble-trimmed glass box in Columbus, Ind., designed in the 1950s by Eero Saarinen. His record time for circumnavigating the 6,800 square-foot building was about two minutes: ‘I was really booking,’ he said recently.

Mr. Miller, now 63 and a foundation president in New York City, also recalled performing back flips onto the living room seating pit, upholstered by the designer Alexander Girard, and playing spy among trees laid out by the landscape architect Dan Kiley. The property, which is now a museum, gave him a lifelong taste for airy, clean-lined design. Sunlight pouring in through its skin and skylights, he said, was “definitely cheery and warm and, in that sense, optimistic.”

Recollections from people like Mr. Miller, who grew up in famous experimental buildings, are increasingly prized among historians, preservationists and architects. What was it like to be a youthful guinea pig, in places that were idealistic, transparent and prone to roof leaks?”

NEW YORK TIMES / May 6, 2019 / written by Eve M. Kahn

Miller House and Garden landscaping by Dan Kiley
Miller House and Garden kitchen
Miller House and Garden landscaping by Dan Kiley

“An architecture snob’s dream, Columbus, Indiana — a town of just 46,000 people, give or take — is a living museum filled with works by architectural titans.”

“I got to be around Mr. Miller every day of the week,” he says. “I was around Mr. and Mrs. Miller quite a bit. It was always amazing to me how generous and humble [he was] and just one of the nicest guys that I’d ever met. If I did something for him, he’d say, ‘Thank you, sir.’ and I’m 22, 23 years old and this is one of the greatest men around and he treated me with a lot of respect, and it was just a great experience.”

“Step inside and you feel as though you’ve entered sacred ground.”

The Limestone Post / June 5, 2018 / written by Jenny Elig

“In our new series ‘Best in Class’, we’re scouring the globe for the high-achieving, house envy-inducing, top-of-their-game showstoppers of residential architecture.”

“Any Modernist aficionado worth their salt will perk up at the mention of Columbus, a city in the mid-Western state of Indiana. ”

“Step inside and you feel as though you’ve entered sacred ground.”

from The Modern House

Hello Columbus – WHY makes an Alexander Girard pilgrimage to Columbus, Indiana

“As a first-time visitor to the home—albeit one who has pored over photograph after photograph of the place for hours—I was immediately struck by the fact that images do little justice to the experience of being in the place.” – Sam Grawe, Brand Director, Herman Miller

“So much of mid-century design was a simplifying and distillation of form. I think our grandfather understood this inclination and aligned with it but also believed that things or spaces didn’t have to be void of personality. I see his role in Columbus as a bridge from one way of thinking to another. He loved innovation but not at the cost of a larger historical context.” – Aleishall Girard Maxon

Why magazine – Herman Miller

Sep 2017 – written by Aaron Britt

Step Inside Modernist Master Eero Saarinen’s Iconic Miller House

“Girard’s elements are really the thing that has affected me the most…The textiles, the eye for color, the combination of warm and cold—the ability for a piece of architecture to at once be present or recede, and take on the warmth of the materials.” Girard developed a long-standing working relationship with the Millers for over 15 years, adjusting and evolving the interior through the seasons and along with the family’s lifestyle.

“(The home) takes Palladio’s nine-square grid plan as its general basis and gently revises it—offers a subtle progression and subversion of earlier modernists, adding movement to the stringent box.” / Feb 2017 -/ written by Aileen Kwun

A Pit for Conversation : A Vitra Anecdote

“The house, landscape and interior were completed in 1957. Girard had become a dear friend of the family by then and continued to be an enduring part of the Millers’ life over the decades.”

“Alexander Girard influenced the Millers’ approach to living. The absolute centrepiece of the house was an unexpected sunken lounge lined with stone, fitted with cushions and adorned with a striking symphony of coloured pillows.”

“The pillows and slipcovers were changed seasonally to enrich the experience for guests, with cooler hues being employed in the warmer months. Fabrics from all over the world in a diverse range of colours and textures created a global backdrop for many an evening with friends. Thick embroidery from Mexico, delicate silks from Japan, mirrored cotton from India and of course many of Girard’s own fabrics as well. The rich colours and textures not only created a stunning visual display, they also represented the ongoing theme of human connection in Girard’s work.”

  • April 2016 – by Aleishall Girard and Stine Liv Buur

Columbus, Indiana, featuring the Miller House and Gardens

“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.”

  • By Kevin Kastner – Feb. 2013

Dan Kiley: A great yet little known Modernist

“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.’”

  • By Charles A. Birnbaum – posted Feb. 10, 2013

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

“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.”

  • By George Hobica – posted July 14, 2012

Top 25 New Places to Stay, Eat, and Play

“Ever wondered where the conversation pit got its start? You’ll find out at this modernist home that opened for public tours last year.”

  • Midwest Living
  • January/February 2012 – by Kendra L. William

Eero Saarinen’s Miller House Featured

“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.”

  • By Judi Ketteler – posted Dec 12, 2011

Miller House: A House Museum That’s Still A Home

“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.”

  • By Paul Needman – posted Oct. 27, 2011

Here lived Midwest’s Medici of design

“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.”

  • By Judith Turner-Yamamoto – October 2, 2011

The Critical Role of the Client

“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…”

  • By Cathleen McGuigan, Editor in Chief, Architectural Record, August 2011

America’s Most Significant Modernist House

“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.”

  • Travel + Leisure
  • May 2011 – by Raul Barreneche

Twentieth-Century Fox

“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.”

  • Dwell magazine
  • May 2011 – by Leslie Williamson

Living History

“…an 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.”

  • Elle Decor
  • May 2011 – by Craig Kellor

The Miller House, Reborn

“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

  • by Julie Lovine – Wall Street Journal, posted May 28, 2011

Modern Family

“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.”

  • Indianapolis Monthly
  • May 2011 – by Amy Wimmer Schwarb

Miller House Reopens

“…it 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.”

  • The Magazine Antiques
  • May-June 2011

Columbus, Ind. house touted as modernist marvel

“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.”

  • Cincinnati Enquirer
  • May 6, 2011 – by Steven Rosen


Mid-Century Time Capsule

“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.”

  • By Alan G. Brake – posted on May 25, 2011

Introducing the Miller House

“A Modernist gem from the 1950s by Eero Saarinen opens to the public in Columbus, Indiana, already a required stop for architectural tourism.”

  • May 12, 2011

It’s Miller Time

“…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…”

  • By Sharon McHugh – May 9, 2011

Inventing the Modern Garden

(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.”

  • Garden Design
  • May/June 2011 – by Ted Loos

Step Right In

“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.’”

  • Modernism Magazine
  • Summer 2011 (cover story) – by John Gendall

Living Color

“…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.”

  • New York Times Style
  • April 3, 2011

Modern Marvel

“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.”

  • Indianapolis Star newspaper
  • April 23, 2011 – by Sally Nalk Nancrede

Making the Modern House Home

“…it 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.

  • By Alexandra Lange – posted April 11, 2011

AD Classics: Miller House and Garden

“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.”

  • By Megan Sveiven – posted March 2, 2011