Columbus, Indiana is known as the "Athens of the Prairie": a mecca of midcentury modernism in an idyllic, small midwestern town. Featuring eight national historic landmarks, it is a well-preserved glimpse into the transformative power of architecture when implemented citywide. Recently, a new wave of young designers and supporters are aiming to reinvigorate this design heritage for the 21st century. A newly formed advocacy and action group called Landmark Columbus, led by Richard McCoy, has announced plans for Exhibit Columbus a biannual design exhibition to start in fall 2017, with an inaugural symposium “Foundations and Futures,” September 28-October 2, 2016. Featured keynotes will be Deborah Berke, Will Miller, Robert A. M. Stern, and Michael Van Valkenburgh. Dubbed "a biennial exploration of architecture, art, design, and community," Exhibit Columbus will repeat the symposium in even years and the exhibition of site-specific installations in odd years. A competition will be held between ten selected designers, and five will be selected to build their installations for the 2017 event. These proposals will be on public view at the Indiana University Center for Art + Design. The winners will receive the J. Irwin Miller and Xenia S. Miller Prize. The ten selected teams are: • Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch of Aranda\Lasch (Tucson, AZ and New York, NY) • Herwig Baumgartner and Scott Uriu of Baumgartner + Uriu (Los Angeles, CA) • Rachel Hayes (Tulsa, OK) • Eric Höweler and Meejin Yoon of Höweler + Yoon (Boston, MA) • Yugon Kim of IKD (Boston, MA) • Mel Kendrick (New York, NY) • Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee in collaboration with Jonathan Olivares (Los Angeles, CA) • Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu of Oyler Wu Collaborative (Los Angeles, CA) • Joyce Hsiang and Bimal Mendis of Plan B Architecture & Urbanism (New Haven, CT) • Chris Cornelius of studio:indigenous (Milwaukee, WI) “Exhibit Columbus was created in part to answer the question, ‘What’s next for Columbus?,’” said Mayor Jim Leinhoop. “We want this initiative to become a platform to showcase our historic design heritage and the great work we are doing today while pointing to the future so the next generation continues to experience a community that is as strong as the last generation’s.” The five sites for the Miller Prize installations are: • First Christian Church (1942) by Saarinen and Saarinen • Irwin Conference Center (1954) by Eero Saarinen and Associates • Bartholomew County Public Library (1969) by I.M. Pei and Partners • Cummins Corporate Office Building (1984) by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo Associates • Mill Race Park (1992) by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates with architecture by Stanley Saitowitz. The Miller Prize "honors the legacy of two of the twentieth century’s greatest patrons of architecture, design, and art, and a family whose visionary commitment to community remains unparalleled." “Exhibit Columbus will encourage visitors to explore the design legacy of Columbus while re-energizing the community around the potential to realize new designs in Columbus,” said Richard McCoy, director of Landmark Columbus. “This innovative program is a model that talks about the importance of place and community, themes that are nationally relevant." Plans for the 2017 exhibition will include at least one project by high school students from Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, as well as five installations by students of nearby univerisities: • Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning • The Ohio State University, Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture • University of Cincinnati, School of Architecture and Interior Design • University of Kentucky, School of Architecture • University of Michigan, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning IUCA+D will also host a designer-in-residence who will make an installation with Indiana University students at North Christian Church (1964) by Eero Saarinen and Associates. Exhibit Columbus is supported by Columbus Area Visitors Center, Columbus Museum of Art Design, Cummins Inc., Efroymson Family Fund, Haddad Foundation, Heritage Fund – The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, Irwin-Sweeney-Miller Foundation, Johnson Ventures, Schumaker Family and SIHO Insurance Services. “We love the idea that Exhibit Columbus builds on the city’s legacy of partnerships and collaboration, while inspiring a bright future,” said Karen Niverson, executive director of the Columbus Area Visitors Center. “We believe it will not only contribute to the quality of life here, but also help attract people to live in and visit Columbus.” The Heritage Fund spearheads the Landmark Columbus efforts. “At Heritage Fund we believe that this project emerged directly from our Community Leadership Values, which describe a legacy of working in public-private partnerships, always striving to be forward thinking, and deeply believing in the value of good design,” said Tracy Souza, President and CEO of Heritage Fund. “We are extremely grateful for the donors that have immediately stepped forward to support Exhibit Columbus.”
Posts tagged with "Miller House":
Maybe You Lost My Number: Eavesdrop wants to know why we weren’t invited to your Kentucky Derby party, De Leon and Primmer. You guys are practically the only cool architecture firm in the River City! We were down in Louisville the weekend of the Derby and wandered (hungover, naturally) past your office on Sunday morning. That new bright green, sort of trellised structure erected in front of your place was really enticing. We wandered through that and did a little look-y loo in the windows of your studio, where we noticed the remnants of a party, like, 15 empty bourbon bottles. You guys, bourbon is Eavesdrop’s favorite beverage. We have so much in common! Call us! Don’t Hold Indiana Against Them: Driving I-65 the length of Indiana is so unbearable with its “Hell is REAL” billboards and endless Monsanto fields of pesticides, but it’s necessary to get from Chicago to the South. On our way home from the Derby, we were reminded of two places we’ve been meaning to stop and stretch our legs—and, no, it’s not the outlet mall. Seasonal tours at the Saarinen-designed Miller House in Columbus, Indiana, have restarted. The house is now owned and maintained by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the second place in Indiana we’ve been meaning to check out. This Architectural Life: The drive wasn’t that bad because I discovered a must-listen radio show devoted to design and architecture: 99% Invisible on WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR station. Look it up!
Even if Columbus, Indiana is not on your travel itinerary Eero Saarinen’s Miller House and Garden may come to you via the internet. Last week, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) announced a $190,000 grant from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) to digitize its Miller House and Garden Collection. The house—a celebrated collaboration between architect Saarinen, interior designer Alexander Girard, and landscape architect Dan Kiley—opened for tours last year , and the museum reports more than 6,500 tour tickets were sold. With the increased interest comes a growing number of requests from researchers asking for access to the home’s archives. While in good condition, the museum writes in their NEH proposal that “repeated handling would quickly degrade these important and unique materials." With the digitization, visitors would not only be able to view the home itself, but explore over 50 years of administrative documents covering the home's design and construction. These include: house inventories, construction plans, and correspondence between client and designers. The museum estimates that it would take about two years to finish the project. Once done, the archive will be available on the web through Archon, an open source archives management tool. IMA, however, still needs to collect an additional $73,000, to complete its initial project estimate of $263,000."If no further funds are available, the museum will make decisions about the priority and importance of the material and edit the project accordingly,” said Bradley C. Brooks, IMA’s Director of Historic Resources.“Very few archival collections of Modernist architecture are available online, and digitizing the Miller House and Garden Collection will provide a new precedent for engaging researchers from multiple disciplines in the study of materials of this kind,” Brooks added. IMA has whetted our appetites with the below photo of J. Irwin Miller’s correspondence with Saarinen, which kickstarted the landmark project. Miller writes to Saarinen, “I think we will have a good deal of fun working this out.” Fifty years later, we’re all still enthralled by the results.