Panorama photo of Stewart Bridge, by Thomas R. Schiff
- Miller House and Garden, Eero Saarinen, 1957
- Former Irwin Union branch bank, Harry and Ben Weese, 1958
- Mill Race Park, Michael Van Valkenburgh and Stanley Saitowitz, 1992
- Four Seasons Retirement Center, The Architects Collaborative, 1967
- Sycamore Place Apartments, Charles Gwathmey, 1982
- Pence Place Apartments, Charles Gwathmey, 1984
- Streetscape, Paul Kennon and Michael Van Valkenburgh, 1990
- Columbus Gateway Project – 1997
- Alley Walkway Project – 1998
Miller House and Garden, Eero Saarinen, 1957
The Miller House is located in a residential neighborhood and not accessible by the public - entry onto the property is obtained via tours, which start at the Columbus Visitors Center.
Find out much more about Miller House and Garden HERE.
The Miller House and Garden is the collaborative masterpiece of Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard, Dan Kiley, and their patrons, J.I. and Xenia Miller.
Travel + Leisure magazine said the "Miller House ranks alongside Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, and Philip Johnson’s Glass House as a hallmark of Modernist design (and) it is surrounded by some of the most beautiful Modernist gardens in the United States, created by landscape architect Dan Kiley." Read what the press has been saying about Miller House and Garden HERE.
- Find out much more about Miller House and Garden HERE.
- See more photos of Saarinen's Columbus work on Pinterest
- Architectural Digest - Fifteen Landmark Buildings by Architect Eero Saarinen
Former Irwin Union branch bank, Harry and Ben Weese, 1958
The bank has been repurposed and is now Hope Wellness Pharmacy.
Designed by Harry Weese, with Ben Weese as project manager, this was formerly a branch of Irwin Union Bank, located on the west side of the downtown square in Hope, Indiana. It is a simple rectangular plan with twelve pyramidal roofs on the exterior and the interior. The roof/ceiling “floats” above the exterior brick walls with a glass clerestory window on all sides. The roof is supported by small steel columns that are only three inches square at the top and bottom, and larger in the middle.
The building entry includes an additional pyramidal canopy at the front and a full glass window. The entry is an detailed glass vestibule including a glass ceiling. The interior vault and enclosed offices are kept below the clerestory windows, allowing the entire interior volume of the building, with its multiple peaked ceiling, to be experienced when in the main space. The exterior rust red brick is simply detailed with soldier course sills at the clerestory windows and recessed corners that feature round downspouts which appear to support the floating roof.
Sycamore Place Apartments, Charles Gwathmey, 1982
Sycamore Place is a HUD-subsidized public housing project for seniors. Located four blocks east of City Hall, it is surrounded by a mixture of commercial buildings and modest houses. At three stories, it is the tallest building in the area, but recedes due to its muted color and varied form.
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 building also includes a double-height community room, a kitchen, a lounge, a laundry and a beauty salon.
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.
Four Seasons Retirement Center, The Architects Collaborative, 1967
Four Seasons Retirement Center was designed by the Architects Collaborative, with Norman Fletcher as the principal architect. Built in 1967, this one-story center has residential apartments, a healthcare center, beauty and barber shop, gift shop, activity studio, library, branch bank, dining areas, and a recreation lounge. A separate brick A-frame chapel is connected to the facility.
Pence Place Apartments, Charles Gwathmey, 1984
Pence Place is the second HUD-subsidizied housing project in Columbus designed for family housing. With 40 two-story townhouse-styled threebedroom apartments, the project is arranged with five housing blocks and four pedestrian “mew” entries on a triangular site. Each townhouse has a fenced front yard, storage structure, and entry gate facing one of the mews. The site is located in a predominantly working class residential area in east Columbus, bordered by a railroad and adjacent industrial area.
With wood-frame construction, the design found additional cost efficiency with back-to-back apartments and typically three common walls per unit. to minimize the overall perimeter and exterior wall construction. The simple pitched asphalt shingle roofs and shed roof dormers provide clerestory natural lighting and ventilation into the apartments and a distinctive building profile.
All of the buildings are horizontal cedar clapboard stained gray, with white window frames, doors, and picket fences. Landscaping has been incorporated around the site perimeter and in the front yard to create an allée within the mews. The project includes a playground and a community plaza.
Streetscape, Paul Kennon and Michael Van Valkenburgh, 1990
New street lights, complete with banners, provide increased illumination to sidewalks and storefronts. Two-way traffic along Washington Street eases traffic movement to retail establishments on both sides of the street.
Concrete paver bricks create plazas at major intersections; brick sidewalks use contrasting colors for pattern; corner amenities include marble-topped benches, trash receptacles, and concrete planters with seasonal plantings, junipers and pear trees.
Funding for the Streetscape project included an “Adopt-A-Brick” program, which allowed people, organizations, and businesses to make contributions and have names or messages inscribed on bricks. To date, over 7,000 inscribed bricks have been laid in the Washington Street sidewalks.
The Washington Street sidewalk design in front of the new Commons and on 3rd Street were modified by Copley Wolff Design Group with strong diagonal bands that related to the skew of the new playground form. Sloped planters, custom bollards, and additional named bricks were incorporated at the 3rd and Washington Street corner.
Mill Race Park, Michael Van Valkenburgh and Stanley Saitowitz, 1992
Landscape Management recognized this 85-acre riverfront park as one of the top 100 parks in the nation for design, reputation, and accessibility. Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh, and featuring structures by Stanley Saitowitz, it includes an 84-foot observation tower, a covered bridge, people trails, fishing at two lakes, picnic shelters, playground equipment, horseshoe pits, basketball courts, and an amphitheater that hosts concerts and performances.
A series of “follies” that become micro-destinations and serve specific functions are found throughout the park. Designed in collaboration with Stanley Saitowitz, these structures include an observation tower, a boathouse, a river lookout, a fishing pier, the amphitheater stage, an arbor, restrooms, and picnic shelters, many painted in what is now known as “Columbus Red.” The 84-foot-high observation tower provides a bird’s-eye view of downtown Columbus and the river it sits on.
Columbus Gateway Project - 1997
The first project to come from this process was Jean Muller’s a twin-arched overpass bridge at the I-65 intersection, in 1997. The red arches emerge between the two interstate lanes, with rods supporting cantilevered beams below the concrete roadway.
The Robert Stewart bridge into downtown Columbus was completed in 1999. The site was aligned to create an entry vista centered on the historic courthouse tower, with Eliel Saarinen’s First Christian Church’s modern bell tower seen in the distance. The bright red steel supports connect steel tension cables arranged in an arc that is dramatically lit in the evening hours.
Both bridges were designed by Jean M. Muller of J. Muller International, Chicago.
Those involved in this project include:
- Paul Kennon, master planner, 1988
- Michael Van Valkenburgh, landscape design
- Robert Venturi and Steve Izenour, Concept Design, 1991-1993
Alley Walkway Project - 1998
Alley projects can be explored on the 400, 500, and 600 blocks of downtown Columbus, featuring granite-topped benches, goose-neck lighting, and English Ivy ground cover along with flowering perennials planted on trellises.
The bricks that form the alleyway located between Fourth and Fifth Streets (400 block) were a gift from the citizens of Miyoshi, Columbus’ sister city in Japan. Called Friendship Way, the south wall of the alleyway features a neon sculpture by San Francisco artist Cork Marcheschi.
The walkway project was managed by William Johnson of Seattle, who also created the master plan for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Johnson was Dean of the School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan from 1975 to 1983. He was named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1973 and awarded the ASLA Medal in 1986.
Cummins Health Center (in transition), Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer, 1973
This building is in transition – Cummins opened a similar facility, the LiveWell Center, in downtown Columbus in 2016.
Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates designed the facility in 1973 as an alternative approach to industrial health care design. The facility has been designed with an abundance of glass and few interior walls. Finished in black glass, the walls become transparent at night, making the interior visible from the outside. The landscaping is by Dan Kiley.
The design uses standard building materials in novel ways. The red corrugated metal siding entry wall is supported by roof trusses installed vertically. The curved continuous skylights are constructed of typical greenhouse components. Brightly colored mechanical and structural systems accentuate the building’s various layers inside.
The AIA (American Institute of Architects) gave the building an Honor award in 1976, one of five recognized in Columbus by the AIA.
State Street Bank (in transition), Paul Kennon, 1974
This branch bank was an expansion with drive-up teller service from the small bank building (now a flower shop) across the street designed by Harry Weese in 1961. The bank features two parallel two-story brick walls that conceal mechanical equipment and office space in between.
The trapezoidal site is enhanced with trees and landscaping which give the building a small, park-like setting. The street front is layered with a formal row of trees, similar to the downtown bank by Saarinen, while the back is more natural.
This building is currently in transition, awaiting a new owner.
(The Miller House and Garden is in a private neighborhood and is only accessible by Visitor Center tours.)