SkyscraperCity banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
I know, I know!
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The sight that greeted me after I left Bloomington on a rainy morning, up from $3.78 the day before.


Coming into Columbus from from the west on Indiana 46, the Second Street Bridge gives an indication that there's something out of the ordinary ahead. From the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau web site:
"The Second Street Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge. Designed by J. Muller International and completed in 1999, it is the first of its kind in North America. The bridge offers an impressive view of two of the city’s notable structures – the Bartholomew County Courthouse and the tower of First Christian Church. The bridge is fully suspended and the 40 cables that support the structure are in the shape of a fan."












Vandalism and tagging are especially incongruous in a place like Columbus that displays considerable civic pride and places a lot of emphasis on good architecture and pleasing, attractive living environment.










Columbus, Indiana, population 39,000, is the seat of Bartholomew County and is known both for its historic preservation and for its modernist architecture. In 1954 J. Irwin Miller set up the Cummins Foundation to pay architects' fees for the Columbus Schools, in order to attract the kind of employees and residents he thought would be good for Columbus. In subsequent years, other companies have pitched in to maintain the momentum of the movement that Miller and the Cummins Foundation started.

Here, because of weather, time constraints, and fatigue I've presented only a very small sampling of Columbus' architectural treasures. What I saw makes me want to go back in more cooperative weather and dedicate a couple of days to a more in-depth exploration.











The Crump Theatre, built in 1889, is Indiana's oldest theatre. The current facade was created as part of a 1941 remodeling.































The U.S. Post Office in Columbus was the first one to be built with privately-funded architect's designs, by Roche Dinkeloo in 1970.












150,000 square foot, 13-acre Commons Mall was designed by Cesar Pelli and completed in 1974. Photos of the area before redevelopment can be seen here

Renfro Development purchased The Commons Mall in December, 2000. A major renovation and expansion is being planned with assistance from Stan Eckstut of Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Kuhn of New York and Rowland Design of Indianapolis. The plan calls for “un-malling” the mall, turning it into a mixed use development with residential, an extended-stay hotel with 94 rooms and suites, a four-story, 100,000 square foot office building to be occupied by 500 new professional employees hired by Cummins Engine, retail and entertainment. Renfro Development is working with the City of Columbus to utilize TIF financing to build a parking structure and to develop the area along the downtown riverfront. Renderings and general information on the redevelopment can be seen here

Dora Hotels will develop the new Cummins office building and hotel and will manage the hotel, along with the Indigo Hotel nearby.

I'm amazed at the state of maintenance and landscaping for Commons Mall. How many other 35-year-old malls even survive, let alone look this good?






The end of the mall, figuratively and literally






















Irwin Union Bank and Trust was designed by Eero Saarinen. This was pretty ground-breaking design in 1954, and it still looks good and fits well in its setting.














I had assumed that this was a former fire station, but I've been informed that it used to be a Goodyear tire store. It must have been the classiest one of those anywhere!<br>




The 1901 City Power House was designed by Harrison Albright and renovated into the Senior Center in 1976 by James K. Paris. The brick walls are 17 inches thick.








The building overlooks the East Fork of the White River.




In many communities the designs of the sixties and seventies have come to look dated and have fallen out of favor. In my eyes, what sets Columbus apart is that the buildings of that era were designed by iconic architectural firms who really understood what they were doing, and their designs were executed without corner-cutting. Add to that exceptional attention over the years to ongoing maintenance both to the structures and to the landscaping and surroundings that display the architects' work in the right context.
The Columbus Republic's building was designed in 1971 by Myron Goldsmith of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.










Edward Charles Bassett, Principal Architect at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed Columbus City Hall in 1981.




















Bartholomew County Courthouse, begun in 1871 and completed in 1874.


























Veterans Memorial




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
What wonders intelligent, enlightened, public-spirited leadership can accomplish. Why must it seem so rare?

Excellent informative pictorial. Thanx.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
I highly recommend taking an architectural tour of Columbus, IN if you ever get the opportunity or are looking for something to do. There are dozens of gorgeous buildings that are quite unlike anything else you will find in the Midwest. There is more significant architecture in Columbus than in the rest of the state as a whole.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
I grew up in Columbus and credit that for making me see the value of public space, architecture, landscaping, historic preservation and placemaking. They have done a great job mixing history and today together. The redevelopment of the Commons Mall and its surroundings is going to be huge for downtown. I would also agree, the architectural tour is well worth the time.


Side note: The building that you thought was an old fire station was actually a goodyear tire repair shop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Fantastic. One of the Mid-West's most beautiful towns. It is nice to see the 60's and 70's buildings as they were meant to be. The courthouse is certainly unusual as well, with the oversized tower and widow's walk. Columbus is really worth taking the time to visit and savor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,061 Posts
I too am a native of Columbus and have always been proud of my hometown. However, the pictures shown only scratch the surface of what the city has to offer. Columbus in many ways is a museum of modern architectural design and historic preservation co-existing side by side in harmony.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
I agree. There are dozens of buildings that are equally or greater architecturally significant that are not part of the photos above. Some of the churches in Columbus are absolute pieces of art.
 

·
I know, I know!
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I too am a native of Columbus and have always been proud of my hometown. However, the pictures shown only scratch the surface of what the city has to offer. Columbus in many ways is a museum of modern architectural design and historic preservation co-existing side by side in harmony.
I agree. There are dozens of buildings that are equally or greater architecturally significant that are not part of the photos above. Some of the churches in Columbus are absolute pieces of art.
I recognize what you're saying, guys, and I realize that I didn't really cover much more than a small portion of what's there. I was running under some constraints; Over the previous couple of days I had been on the road for several hours, and what time I wasn't driving, I was walking around a couple of other cities taking photos. I was burnt out, and the weather was borderline crappy; I arrived in Columbus in rain, and rain started up again just about the point where I wrapped this thread. In between, the skies were almost entirely heavy overcast with weak, dull lighting.

Considering what I saw, and what I've learned about Columbus since then, I definitely want to go back in better weather and round out the collection. I think Columbus is amazing, and the more people I can share it with, the happier I'll be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
The redevelopment of the Commons Mall and its surroundings is going to be huge for downtown.
Downtown Columbus has seen a transformation of sorts in the last year or so. If you haven't been down there lately, the commons mall is now two separate buildings. The sears is still there while the new commons business center next door is very shiney, glassy, and new. Along with the addition of the Hotel Indigo, two or three very well constructed parking garages, and a surprise roundabout, Columbus seems to be doing very well, even with the flooding last year.:) For a small town....Columbus knows a lot about dense, beautiful, urban development.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top