First Baptist Church / Harry Weese

First Baptist Church (1965) by Harry Weese
Another great modern church in Columbus, Indiana. Weese was a friend of Irwin Miller and designed over a dozen buildings in Columbus.


The back


Bitchin' Camaro

Tackett / Thursday

A lil one

North Christian / Eero Saarinen

North Christian Church (1964) by Eero Saarinen
"On this site, with this kind of central plan, I think I would like to make the church really all one form: all the tower. There would be the gradual building up of the sheltering, hovering planes becoming the spire. The spire would not be put on a box or come up from the sides of the roof, as we did at Stephens College. The whole thing, all the planes, would grow up organically into the spire" — Eero Saarinen
The gang from the Miller House all got back together for this one. Dan Kiley (landscape architect) and Alexandar Girard worked with Eero on the design. Irwin Miller, Columbus's #1 modern architecture fan, was on the building committee for the church.





The "Living Cross" behind the pulpit was designed by Alexandar Girard and made by Marilyn Neuhart

Alexandar Girard-designed candelabra

The pool

Saarinen-designed seating

Eames and Risom in the library.

"When I face St. Peter I am able to say that out of the buildings I did during my lifetime, one of the best was this little church, because it has in it a real spirit that speaks forth to all Christians as a witness to their faith" — Eero Saarinen
Eero died in 1961, before the church was completed. I'm pretty sure he got in.
North Christian has posted a number of historic photos, here. 

First Christian / Eliel Saarinen

First Christian Church (1942) by Eliel Saarinen
This was the first "modern" building in Columbus. It was Irwin Miller who suggested to his aunt (the wife of the church's Pastor) that the church be designed by a modern architect. The Henry Moore sculpture came much later and is actually more related to the I.M. Pei library across the street. It sure makes for a nice photo.
Charles Eames rendering of Eliel Saarinen-designed church.
Source: Courtesy Cranbrook Archives

1939 construction
Source: Courtesy Cranbrook Archives




bradley_columbus_37
Many of the interior details were designed by Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames. I didn't go inside, but my friend Darren did. He takes better photos than I do anyway. 
Photo: Darren Bradley, via Modernist Architecture 

This is the tapestry on the side of the alter, “Sermon on the Mount”. It was designed by Eleil Saarinen and woven by his wife Loja and two Finnish weavers at the Cranbrook Academy. Here it is being worked on in the Saarinen home studio at Cranbrook.
Source: Courtesy Cranbrook Archives
That lighting fixture really is heavenly. 


This area was originally a pool.

1941
Source: Courtesy Cranbrook Archives

The Paul Rand "Dancing C" bike racks are all over town. 
More from Columbus, coming up.

Weekend / Stuff

 
Stack of Jean Balmer compotes

I stayed local, so more local ceramics--Jean Balmer and David Stewart

A mobile. 
No CA : (

The Miller House / Girard / Saarinen

Commissioned by industrialist J. Irwin Miller and his wife Xenia Simons Miller in 1953, the Miller house was designed by Eero Saarinen and Kevin Roche, with interiors by Alexander Girard and landscape design by Daniel Urban Kiley. It's located in Columbus, Indiana and was completed in 1957.
It was so great to see this in person.

That's a custom low back Eames Sofa Compact. It's brass and was shortened because it blocked the view.

This letter shows the Millers had issues with the sofa compact right from the get go. Girard solved the problem with the custom version. I wish it went into production. I dig the height. 
The letter is from the “Documenting Modern Living: Digitizing the Miller House and Garden Collection.” The project created a digital archive of the correspondence, drawings and blueprints, textile samples, and photographs that document design, construction, and maintenance of the Miller House and Garden. It's a fun thing to dive into. 

The fireplace was a complicated aspect of the design. Saarinen associate Balthazar Korab developed a number of prototypes, seen here. Part of the complication is that the the fireplace had to house a drainage pipe to move water off the roof. There is actually a tube running down the otherwise floating fireplace. It's mostly obscured by the glass screen. 
Source: Library of Congress/Korab Collection

I think they made the right call.
Source: Library of Congress/Korab Collection

Eventually, the Millers added art to the walls, including the Pierre Bonnard painting seen here. Xenia lived in the house until she passed in 2008. The art was then sold at auction. The Bonnard sold for $6 Million. The wall is now just bare marble, which I kinda like better. 
Source: Library of Congress/Korab Collection

The dining room is a custom Saarinen table, which is lit underneath. The center cut out is a water feature. You can nerd out on the design here.
 The Miller's obviously had great taste and that included art. They had a Picasso in their dining room.

Source: Library of Congress/Korab Collection

It sold for $8 Million. 

Source: Christie's

They also had a Henry Moore in the yard. It also sold at Christie's for $8 Million 

Source: Library of Congress/Korab Collection

Here is a sample of their collection. Pretty major stuff (understatement).

Herman Miller vs. Knoll



Learn more about the Miller House here

Irwin Miller in his Office at Cummins. He was the driving force that turned Columbus, Indiana into a modern architecture mecca. More to come on that.
Source: Life