The city of Columbus, Indiana, isn’t just one of the most architecturally-rich places in the United States—it’s also among the most overlooked. Where else can one find works by Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Cesar Pelli, Richard Meier, Kevin Roche, and I.M. Pei, all in thirty square miles? Landmark Columbus, a new preservation group established last year, has been working to elevate the city’s cultural status through the first annual Exhibit Columbus—an “exploration of architecture, art, design, and community” that kicked off September 29.
Home to fewer than 50,000 people but more than eighty works of Modern art and architecture, Columbus boasts upwards of a dozen buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. But despite its impressive Modernist past, construction on new projects in Columbus slowed in the 2000s as population growth plateaued. Exhibit Columbus hopes to inspire bold innovation and forward-thinking new development.