The Miller home, designed by Eero Saarinen, has interiors by Alexander Girard, and landscape architecture by Dan Kiley. The Millers commissioned the home in 1953 and raised their five children there. The property is now under the care of the Indianapolis Art Museum, and welcomes visitors. On the Web: Miller House and Gardens at Indiana Museum of Art - click here.
Sitting area in the master bedroom.
J. Irwin Miller (1909-2004) made his fortune in the Cummins Engine Company and went on to become one of America's greatest industrialists, philanthropist, and patron saint of modern architecture. In 1957, he told the City of Columbus that his Cummins Foundation would pay the architecture fees for new public buildings in Columbus. Miller believed that a good architectural building would last at least two or three times longer than an ordinary building and he wanted to promote modern architecture and support promising new architects.
Miller played a key role in the Civil Rights Movement, coordinating organized religion's support for what became the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As the chairman of the National Council of Churches Commission on Religion and Race, he led the NCC to jointly sponsor the March on Washington.
His main legacy is the architecture of Columbus, which now includes approximately fifty public buildings by visionary modern architects like by Eero Saarinen, Eliel Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Kevin Roche, Richard Meier, Harry Weese, César Pelli, and others.
In downtown Columbus, you can see the exteriors of the architectural gems, and visit Mr. Miller's office. Our tour guide, Erin Hawkins, director of marketing for the Columbus Indiana Visitors Center, poses in vintage era costume in the waiting room of Mr. Miller's office.
A 1980s cutting edge word processor, known as the IBM Selectric II, on display on Mr. Miller's secretary's desk.
Famous architectural churches in Columbus: The First Christian Church, built in 1942. Architect Eliel Saarinen, located on Fifth Street in downtown Columbus. Said to be the first modern church.
North Christian Church, built in 1964, architect Eero Saarinen, landscape architecture by Dan Kiley.
Inside North Christian Church.
Tony Moravec bought Zaharakos and restored it to its original style, 1900 Victorian gingerbread. The restaurant displays antique syrup dispensers, an 1870s orchestion and other antique music boxes, and Tony Moravec's extensive collection of pre-1900 marble soda fountains.
Zaharakos owner Tony Moravec.
Historic soda flavor: Green River.
After ice cream at Zaharakos, visit the Kids Commons educational playland for children and adults who act like children ;-)
Also in the Columbus area: five historic buildings that date back to the nineteenth century, including the Visitors Center. Stop in to join guided bus tours, walking tours, or pick up a map and guide to city architecture. Columbus also has beautiful modern bridges and a covered bridge in Mill Race Park. For great homemade pizza and beer, visit Zwanzigz, not to be confused with Zaharakos, the historic ice cream parlor that offers a menu of amazing sandwiches, soups, and salads—and ice cream.