Monday, June 25, 2012

Columbus, Indiana - Bartholomew County - Architectural Mecca

I have only recently discovered Columbus, Indiana and Bartholomew County - even though I am a born and bred Hoosier.  It is a beautiful city with quite a history and has numerous Architechtural landmarks.  The most recent added to the list is the former home of James Irwin Miller.  The Miller family founded the Cummins Engine Company in Columbus which is now an International powerhouse corporation.

I've included some detail below about Columbus in general and the Miller home.  There is a link to the Miller home website for more info in regards to taking the tour by clicking HERE.

Today, Columbus is ranked sixth in the nation by the American Institute of Architects for architectural innovation and design. National Geographic Traveler ranked Columbus as America’s most significant historic place on the strength of its architectural heritage. There are more than 70 buildings by noted modern architects—such as I. M. Pei, Cesar Pelli, Robert Venturi, Richard Meier, John Carl Warnecke and Harry Weese—in the city, as well as public art works by internationally renowned architects and artists.

"America’s Most Significant Modernist House" - Travel + Leisure

Commissioned by industrialist and philanthropist J. Irwin Miller and his wife Xenia Simons Miller in 1953, Miller House expands upon an architectural tradition developed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe—epitomizing the international Modernist aesthetic—with an open and flowing layout, flat roof and stone and glass walls. The rooms, configured beneath a grid pattern of skylights supported by cruciform steel columns, are filled with textiles that feature strong colors and playful patterns. Amid the residence’s large geometric gardens, its grandest feature is an allée of honey locust trees that runs along the west side of the house. In 2000, the Miller House became the first National Historic Landmark to receive its designation while one of its designers, Dan Kiley, was still living and while still occupied by its original owners. The house showcases the work of leading 20th-century architects and designers: Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard and Dan Kiley.

Today, the property offers visitors the opportunity to experience one of the finest expressions of American modernism, an integration of house and landscape that draws upon historical precedents without repeating them, enfolding them in a compelling composition of forms and spaces that captures the genius of its designers, the aspirations of its owners, and the spirit of their time.

Joseph Irwin Miller (1909-2004) was born into a prominent Columbus, Indiana, family with business interests in banking, industry, and real estate. Irwin Miller attended Yale University, majoring in Greek and Latin and graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1931. He then received a master’s degree from Oxford University in 1933.

In 1934, Irwin Miller began working at Cummins Engine Company—founded by his great- uncle—which builds diesel engines in Columbus, Indiana. His career began when the firm was still small enough that his responsibilities included opening the daily mail though his innovations in management, marketing, and production brought the firm to profitability and he is credited as a major influence in the company’s growth. Although beset with early difficulties, under Irwin Millers leadership the company persevered to become the leading independent diesel manufacturer in the world (2006 reported sales were $11.4 billion). In addition to being a patron of modern architecture, Irwin Miller was a philanthropist and industrialist well known for his civic activism.

No comments:

Post a Comment