November 30, 2011
Over Thanksgiving, while visiting my family in Indianapolis, I finally got a chance to visit the recently opened to the public Miller House & Gardens in Columbus, Indiana. Columbus has long been a mecca for modern architecture thanks to local visionary businessman, J. Irwin Miller.
In 1952 Miller commissioned Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard and landscape architect, Dan Kiley to design his personal residence where he lived with his family for over 50 years. The stone and glass house is one of the greatest residences of the mid-20th century. Walking into the house today the architecture and interiors are timeless. The built-in tulip dining table is a precursor to the famous Saarinen Tulip table and the sunken conversation pit was the first of its kind. Saarinen's architecture is stunning, his use of marble walls and terrazzo floors are seamless from indoors to out. I am in love with the way Girard juxtaposed clean lines and cold surfaces with antique rugs, custom furniture and rich, colorful ethnic textiles.
Columbus, IN and the Miller House are architectural gems, worth a trip even if you don't have family in Indy.