Crack the Whip - Saylors

49 – City Hall

City Hall is sited to create a strong visual relationship between the old and new architecture downtown. The cantilevered arms frame the two-story, semi-circular window wall of glass, shaped to reflect the courthouse to approaching visitors.

The cantilevered arms frame the two-story, semi-circular window wall of glass, shaped to reflect the courthouse to approaching visitors.

It’s unusual that the small community of Columbus has two buildings by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) right across the street from each other, City Hall and The Republic Newspaper offices. SOM is one of the largest architecture firms in the world and has created many of the major projects of the 20th century.

SOM was named AIA Firm of the Year in 1961 and again in 1996 — the only firm that has been awarded the prize twice. SOM is known for their high-end commercial buildings, it was SOM that led the way to the modern international-style or “glass box” skyscraper. SOM has designed several of the tallest buildings in the world, including the John Hancock Center and Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building.

City of Columbus painting, Robert Indiana

50 – City of Columbus Painting

Robert Indiana’s C painting is indicative of his pop art pieces. It uses distinctive imagery in what he called “sculptural poems.” The bold, simple representation melds the trendy with the philosophical, and centers around one basic focal point, the C in the center.

The piece includes the date the city was founded (1821) and the date Robert Indiana finished the work (1981).

Robert Indiana was born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana, in 1928. As a high school student at Arsenal Tech, he attended Saturday school at the Herron Art Institute in 1945. After three years in the Army Air Corps, Indiana earned a degree from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953, and settled in New York in 1954. In 1958, Robert Clark adopted the name of his home state and became Robert Indiana because “Clark” was, in his opinion, too ordinary. (His famed LOVE sculpture) is autobiographical, the artist observes, with the memorable landmarks of his life embedded within the words, colors, and numbers that comprise his compositions. – from the Indianapolis Museum of Art website

Take me to City Hall
City of Columbus painting, Robert Indiana

51 – County Jail

The four-story county jail, by architect Don Hisaka, has a distinctive wire-mesh dome for outdoor recreation and features brick and limestone materials that are compatible with nearby Columbus City Hall and the Bartholomew County Courthouse.

From the San Francisco Chronicle obituary, Mar. 3, 2013:
His work … shared an elegant simplicity of design, yet with enlivening and even playful details. He was proud to leave a legacy of “buildings that found a freedom out of post modernism.” Perhaps his best-known design is the Bartholomew County Jail in Columbus, Indiana (1990), a community noted for its collection of innovative modern structures…In addition to citations in 70 leading architectural publications, his work has been honored over the years with over 50 design awards, including a Cornerstone Award for the best urban office building of 1991.

City of Columbus painting, Robert Indiana

52 – Sycamore Place

Sycamore Place is a HUD-subsidized public housing project for seniors. With 24 one-bedroom apartments, the building plan stairsteps back, creating a private balcony space for each unit. The staggered corridor also provides privacy at the entries and features natural daylight at the ends, unique for public housing. The entry features a photomural by Elliot Kaufman.

The wood-framed building is enclosed with low-maintenance horizontal cedar siding stained gray, accented with white framed windows and trim. The site has been landscaped with a variety of trees including Bradford Pears, Douglas Firs, Red maples, Littleleaf Linden, and Honey locust.

Take me to Sycamore Place
City of Columbus painting, Robert Indiana

53 – Cummins Plant One Expansions

Harry Weese designed a large manufacturing facility around an existing building to accommodate increasing sales and output by Cummins.
City of Columbus painting, Robert Indiana

54 – Cummins Plant One 1996 Expansion

Kevin Roche was asked to renovate the existing plant, design an office addition, and create a new entry on the east side. The two-story glass office addition is composed of square glass and stainless steel panels, contrasting the ribbed precast concrete panels in earlier additions and renovations by Harry Weese.

The main entry features a large Cummins logo on a two-story entry canopy, a glass wall, and a sloped skylight over a drive-up which is large enough for semi-trucks. The double-height lobby behind the canopy features windows that look into the plant assembly line.

The main Central Avenue is highlighted by a tree-lined boulevard with visitor parking. and parking featuring landscaping by Jack Curtis.

(Photo by Justin Drake Aerial Photography)