Harry Weese was a larger than life figure. He dominated Chicago architecture in the 1960s and ’70s and then had a sorry descent at the end of his life. (See this detailed Chicago magazine article from this past summer.) He also had a major impact on the landscape of Washington (think Metro and Arena Stage). The National Building Museum will hold a panel, The Architecture of Harry Weese, on March 9 from 6:30 to 8 pm. Robert Bruegmann, historian and author of The Architecture of Harry Weese (Norton),and Roger Lewis, The Washington Post‘s “Shaping the City” columnist, will explore the life of Weese, focusing on his local. A book-signing will follow the panel discussion. Weese also had a major impact on Columbus, Indiana, which I explored last year. Here are a few photos of Weese’s work in Columbus, a mecca of modernism in the Midwest.
Tag Archive for: Columbus
I look at a lot of houses online and in person. I write about many of them here. In this post, I want to highlight some of the smaller mid-century modern details I have come across during the past several years. Scrolling through the 3,000+ pictures on my phone (all of food, architecture and my kids), I found many pictures that have not made into the posts over the years that I wanted to share with you, including the picture above in the backyard of the Hamilton House in Columbus, Indiana. Thanks for reading. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Give thanks for your family, friends, good health and those little modern details that make life richer.
This last picture is one of the most peculiar things I have seen. This scene was painted on the wall of a powder room in a very cool mid-century modern home in Bethesda. Thankfully, I have not seen too many of these. Happy Thanksgiving.
I hope you are following my tour of Columbus on Twitter and Facebook. Had a very unique opportunity to visit Eero Saarinen’s Miller House tonight (more to follow on this) and seeing mid-century modern homes in the area on Sunday morning. In the meantime, here’s a few open houses tomorrow back home.
1976 Cedar contemporary on .76 acres in Falls Church – $850K
1950 3/2 Charles Goodman in Hollin Hills – $599K
Two 1970 5/3 Goodmans in Hollin Hills – both at $779K – 2306 Kimbro and 2318 Kimbro
1945 altered flat-roof in Mohican Hills – $719K
1972 contemporary with two-story foyer and pool in Potomac – $799K
I’m headed this weekend to Columbus, Indiana, Middle America’s Modern Mecca. The town of 39,000 people located 40 miles south of Indianapolis has dozens of mid-century modern and modern buildings by the world’s leading architects. Think I.M. Pei, Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, Richard Meier, Harry Weese, Eliot Noyes, Cesar Pelli, Deborah Berke, Robert A.M. Stern and Robert Venturi. You’re wondering: How did this happen and why there? The reason is J. Irwin Miller, a wealthy industrialist and patron of modern art and architecture.
Miller, the longtime head of Cummins Engine Co., went to Yale and became interested in modern design during that time. In the post-war years, a foundation ran by Miller agreed to pay the architects’ fees of newly designed schools, but they had to come from the foundation’s list of architects. The program was later expanded to other buildings in the town.
Six buildings are designated as National Historic Landmarks, including Miller’s own house by Eero Saarinen, who Miller met while Saarinen was helping his dad, Eliel, on the First Christian Church (see below.) Alexander Girard did the interior while Dan Kiley did the landscape. The 1957 house, which was featured at the recent Saarinen retrospective at the National Building Museum, was donated by the Miller family to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It is now being renovated and the plan is to open it to the public for the first time next year. I think the highlight of the trip for me will be visiting the house and gardens Saturday evening. Saarinen also designed a bank (pictured below) for the family, which is a National Historic Landmark as well.
The trip, which is bringing modern bloggers from around the country, is being hosted by the Columbus Area Visitors Center, which is picking up the hotel costs, meals and arranging the tours. I paid for my flight and rental car.