Architecture / Columbus

Fire Station No. 4 (1966) by Robert Venturi
The design fees for the building were paid for by the Cummins Foundation Architectural Program. The program became a formal part of the Cummins Foundation in 1960. It began with schools, but later grew to encompass all public projects. All the buildings in this post, with the exception of the I.M. Pei library, were funded by the program. The Cummins Foundation did give the library $800,000 grant, but it wasn't part of the Architecture Program. A list of the program's projects can be found here.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cummins, Irwin Miller, summarized the program with this statement:American architecture has never had more creative, imaginative practitioners than it has today. Each of the best of today’s architects can contribute something of lasting value to Columbus.

L. Frances Smith Elementary School (1969) by John M. Johansen

The "gerbil tube" school caused some controversy when the design was released. Things quickly calmed down. 

 Southside Elementary School (originally Southside Junior High) (1969) by Eliot Noyes

I'm a huge fan of Noyes, but this brutalist bunker design doesn't seem like the right fit for a school.

Cleo Rogers Memorial Library (1969) by I. M. Pei
The land was donated by Irwin Miller and his family.

Here is the inside of the library--shot by my friend Darren. 

"Large Arch" by Henry Moore was commissioned by Xenia and Irwin Miller as a gift to library after it was suggested by Pei for the Library Plaza.
Columbus must have, pound-for-pound, the most modern architecture of any city in the country. The architectural gifts from Irwin Miller and Cummins continue to have a lasting impact on the city. The relatively small investment of selecting talented and forward thinking architects brings in thousands of architecture nerds and their tourist dollars every year. It's a nice town, but I know I would have never made the trip to visit if it weren't for the architecture. This should be a lesson to civic leaders everywhere not to cheap out on design. Boring architecture is a bad investment.