Columbus Indiana National Register Nominations

Columbus, Indiana National Historic Landmark Theme Study for Modernism in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Design and Art

Bartholomew County, Indiana 1942 - 1999


p style=\"text-align: justify;\">storrow kinsella associates led the effort to research and develop the Columbus, Indiana National Historic Landmark Theme Study.  Two major contexts were developed: Patronage in Public Architecture and Modern Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Bartholomew County.

Two Themes


p style=\"text-align: justify;\">The two themes were developed as a way to explain the evolution of Columbus and Bartholomew County as a center for modernist architecture. The patronage program for support of modernist public architecture originated with the vision of J. Irwin Miller, then CEO of the Cummins Engine Company, a Columbus-based diesel engine manufacturer, and the town\'s major employer. He initiated the program largely for the good of the company, reasoning that good public architecture, particularly for schools, encouraged the attraction and retention of a quality workforce through the incentive of a quality environment. It was an early manifestation of the economic development/quality of life linkage, and as such, has widely influenced attitudes about corporate responsibility towards community development.



p style=\"text-align: justify;\">Since 1942 over sixty structures and numerous other resources have been designed by the country\'s leading practitioners in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and public art. The result has been an extraordinary representation of mid-to-late twentieth century design. The works are integrated into the community as schools, factories, office buildings, churches, government buildings, parks, bridges, homes and gardens. 


Identification and Preparing Nominations

The second phase of the project was to identify and prepare nominations for six resources to be nomination as National Historic Landmarks. Those included:

  • First Christian Church
  • Irwin Union Bank and Trust
  • Miller House and Garden
  • North Christian Church
  • Mabel McDowell Elementary School
  • First Baptist Church

The National Landmark nominations for  Columbus have elevated the community\'s appreciation of the national significance of its Modernist building and landscape architectural heritage. The nominations have also given the community new tools with which to engage potential, but unknowing, perpetrators of change to these remarkable resources. 



Laura Thayer, Architectural Historian

Margaret Storrow, Landscape Architect

John Kinsella, Urban Planner/Designer

Louis Joyner, Architect

Malcolm Cairns, Landscape Architect

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