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Miller House and Garden, exterior - photo courtesy IMA
Miller House and Garden, exterior
Miller House and Garden conversation pit
Miller House and Garden, Eero Saarinen, 1957
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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.

Four Seasons Retirement Center, 1967, Columbus, Indiana
Four Seasons Retirement Center, 1967, Columbus, Indiana
Four Seasons Retirement Center, The Architects Collaborative, 1967
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1901 Taylor Rd, Columbus
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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.

Sycamore Place, Charles Gwathmey, 1982 - Columbus, Indiana
Sycamore Place, Charles Gwathmey, 1982 - Columbus, Indiana
Sycamore Place Apartments, Charles Gwathmey, 1982
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222 Sycamore Place, Columbus
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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.

Pence Place Apartments, Charles Gwathmey, 1984 - Columbus, Indiana
Pence Place Apartments, Charles Gwathmey, 1984 - Columbus, Indiana
Pence Place Apartments, Charles Gwathmey, 1984
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470 South Mapleton Street, Pence Place, Columbus
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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.

Downtown Columbus, Indiana streetscape
Downtown Columbus, Indiana streetscape
Streetscape, Paul Kennon and Michael Van Valkenburgh, 1990
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Architect Paul Kennon was given the challenge to create an attractive, accessible, pedestrian-friendly downtown. Through a series of community-wide meetings and focus groups, the decision was made to return Washington Street to two-way traffic, improve the lighting, and provide other urban amenities. Michael Shirley and Michael Van Valkenburgh completed the design after Paul’s untimely death.

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 aerial
Stanley Saitowitz walkway in Mill Race Park, Columbus, Indiana
Mill Race Park, Michael Van Valkenburgh and Stanley Saitowitz, 1992
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50 Fifth Street, Columbus
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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.

Robert Stewart Bridge - photo by Andrew Laker, The Republic
Twin-arched overpass bridge - Columbus, Indiana - photo by Ricky Berkey
Columbus Gateway Project - 1997
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In 1988, Paul Kennon led a community planning process to develop a landscaped “front door” to downtown Columbus along State Road 46 from Interstate 65 into Columbus. The concept was to demonstrate to federal and state agencies, as well as other communities, how small cities that are set off from the interstate system could identify themselves and attract drivers into their city.

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
downtown Columbus, Indiana walkway
downtown Columbus, Indiana walkway
Alley Walkway Project - 1998
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The pedestrian alleyway improvement program continued the spirit of the Streetscape project and features rhythmic sidewalk brick paving pattern, landscaping, and lighting.

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.

COLUMBUS, INDIANA ARCHITECTURE – OTHER – BUILDINGS IN TRANSITION

Former Irwin Union Bank, Hope branch - Harry and Ben Weese
Former Irwin Union Bank, Hope branch, interior - Harry and Ben Weese
Former Irwin Union branch bank, Harry and Ben Weese, 1958
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645 Harrison Street, Hope, Indiana
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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.

The Republic newspaper offices, Myron Goldsmith - Columbus, Indiana
The Republic newspaper offices, Myron Goldsmith - Columbus, Indiana
The Republic (in transition), Myron Goldsmith of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), 1971
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333 Second St, Columbus
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Myron Goldsmith of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill designed the newspaper in 1971 of glass and steel and provided onlookers with a window into the business of communications. The open concept reflects the seven-day newspaper’s role as a central link in the information for the community. Originally, the paper’s printing presses could be viewed from the street, as they printed the daily paper. The presses had to be moved to a larger printing plant off of Interstate 65 and south of Columbus.

The Republic was the seventh Columbus structure to be named an historic landmark, The U.S. Interior said, “The Republic is an exceptional work of modern architecture and one of the best examples of the work of Myron Goldsmith, a general partner in the firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and a highly respected architect, architect”

The AIA (American Institute of Architects) gave the building an Honor award in 1975, one of five recognized in Columbus by the AIA.

Excerpt from The New York Times obituary for Goldsmith:

He was disarming in person, almost an antithesis of his architecture; perpetually rumpled, with a bird’s-nest tangle of hair and a shy, soft-spoken demeanor. “He managed with gentleness to exist and prosper in a field that is otherwise eaten up by tigerish egos,” said Franz Schulze, an art historian and Mies biographer.

Mr. Goldsmith was born in Chicago and graduated in 1939 from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he studied under Mies van der Rohe, whose Chicago office he joined in 1946. He worked there until 1953, when he received a Fulbright Grant to study under Nervi at the University of Rome.

His first major projects at Skidmore were two United Air Lines hangars at San Francisco International Airport, one of which used cantilevered steel girders to form a structure large enough to house four DC-8 jetliners. Other significant projects were the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum of 1966, in California, which includes a circular arena 420 feet in diameter, ringed by a 70-foot-high glass wall behind enormous concrete X-braces; and The Republic newspaper plant in Columbus, Ind., completed in 1971, whose delicate aluminum and glass skin allowed passers-by to view the newsroom and pressroom.

Read the full obituary here >

This building has recently been purchased by Columbus hospital and will continue to be occupied.

Former Cummins Occupations Health - Hardy, Holzman, Pfeiffer - 1973
Former Cummins Occupations Health - Hardy, Holzman, Pfeiffer - 1973
Cummins Health Center (in transition), Hardy Hozman Pfeiffer, 1973
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605 Cottage Avenue, Columbus
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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  AIA (American Institute of Architects) gave the building an Honor award in 1976, one of five recognized in Columbus by the AIA.

This building is in transition, due to Cummins opening their LiveWell Center in 2016.

State Street Bank (in transition), Paul Kennon, 1974 - Columbus, Indiana
State Street Bank (in transition), Paul Kennon, 1974 - Columbus, Indiana
State Street Bank (in transition), Paul Kennon, 1974
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State Street and Mapleton, Columbus
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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.

former printing plant
former printing plant
Republic Printing Center (in transition), GSI Architects, 1997
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3330 International Court, Columbus
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The former Republic Printing Center, this building is in ownership transition.

The printing and distribution facility was designed to house the print production capacity for several of area newspapers including The Republic (Columbus), the Daily Journal (Johnson County), and The Brown County Democrat (Nashville), as well as an expansion into commercial printing.

The primary exterior materials are glass, metal panels and painted metal commonly associated with industry and technology, but rendered here with refined detailing and a palette which includes terracotta brown, referencing Indiana soil. The rooftop mechanical elements are arranged beneath an articulated yellow enclosure and clerestory windows illuminate the mailroom area.

(The Miller House and Garden is in a private neighborhood and is only accessible by Visitor Center tours.)

Four Seasons Retirement Center, The Architects Collaborative, 1967

Sycamore Place Apartments, Charles Gwathmey, 1982

Pence Place Apartments, Charles Gwathmey, 1984

Mill Race Park, Michael Van Valkenburgh and Stanley Saitowitz, 1992

Columbus Gateway Project - I-65 Bridge

Columbus Gateway Project - Robert Stewart Bridge

The Republic (in transition), Myron Goldsmith, 1971

Cummins Health Center (in transition), Hardy Hozman Pfeiffer, 1973

State Street Bank (in transition), Paul Kennon, 1974

Republic Printing Plant (in transition) - GSI Architects - 1997