How Columbus, Indiana, Became a Mecca for Modernist Architecture – Artsy

Within the heyday of American industrialism, corporations usually formed complete communities, serving as a city’s main employer and financial driver. One in all these so-referred to as firm cities, Columbus, Indiana, is house to Cummins Engine Firm, a humble inhabitants of 46,000, and a disproportionate variety of iconic mid-century fashionable buildings.  

Situated 50 miles south of Indianapolis, Columbus owns dozens of architectural masterworks by internationally famend designers from the period. Eliel and Eero Saarinen, and greater than a handful of Pritzker Prize Laureates, together with I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, and Robert Venturi, started creating tasks there with sudden regularity within the mid-1950s. A number of of their constructing works are positioned alongside town’s Fifth Avenue, in any other case referred to as the Avenue of the Architects.

An unlikely mecca of modernist structure, it’s a place the place banks, church buildings, workplace buildings, and colleges (briefly, the core of town’s civic life) are additionally frequent stops alongside an architectural tour route trodden by hundreds of design students and lovers annually. The influential Indianapolis-based mostly journal Saturday Night Publish, noting town’s curious character mixture of small-city attraction and design sophisticate, famously dubbed it “the Athens of the prairie” in 1964, an apt tagline that has held over time.

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How Columbus, Indiana, Became a Mecca for Modernist Architecture - Artsy