On its outskirts, you'd be forgiven for assuming that Columbus, Indiana is a suburban American town like any other. But travel downtown and you're suddenly greeted with an unexpected variety of modern architecture. The small midwestern city has for the past half-century been a kind of laboratory for contemporary architecture, attracting designers as diverse as Kevin Roche and IM Pei. Children attend school in a building designed by Richard Meier, congregants attend services in a church designed by Eliel Saarinen. Drawing on its reputation as an architectural mecca, the town played host this past September to "Exhibit Columbus", an event geared towards exploring the notion of "progressive" preservation. Now in its second year, Exhibit Columbus was founded by Landmark Columbus in 2016 to share and celebrate the local design legacy - a legacy that in 1942 led to the construction of Saarinen's First Christian Church in the town center.
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