AIA Ranks Columbus, Indiana as US’s 6th Most Architecturally Important City

  • 04 Dec 2012
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  • Videos
The 166-foot high campanile, or free-standing bell tower, of The First Christian Church, designed by architect Eliel Saarinen, in Columbus, . Completed in 1942, it was the first contemporary building in Columbus and one of the first churches of contemporary architecture in the United States. Photo via Flickr User CC clarkmaxwell

New York, San Fran, Chicago…Columbus, Indiana. Which of these doesn’t go with the others? Well, according to the , none. Columbus, Indiana, a small town of about 44,000 has been ranked by the as the nation’s 6th most architecturally important city, right after Washington DC.

So what’s so special about Columbus? Apparently, a 1950s philanthropist by the name of J. Irwin Miller took it upon himself to foot the bill for any new public building in the city. The result? Today, Columbus has more than 70 buildings designed by internationally renowned architects – including I.M. Pei, Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, Richard Meier and Harry Weese.

Check out a Video on Columbus “The Athens of the Prairie,” after the break…

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Cite: Vinnitskaya, Irina. "AIA Ranks Columbus, Indiana as US’s 6th Most Architecturally Important City" 04 Dec 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Emmit

    Thanks for posting! As a native of Columbus, growing up right across the street from Saarinen’s North Christian Church, I never would have dreamed what an impact this city would have on my future as designer! LOVE MY HOME TOWN!!!

  • Eric in Colorado

    There’s no link for the video?

    • Greg P

      Follow the link at the bottom of the article to The video is on their article.