Bike-itecture | Columbus, IN

Fall days. The ones spent chasing the sun's final fleeting rays. The brisk air. The turning leaves. The sights, the smells and the inevitable presence of change. This was the setting. A backdrop of epic Mid Century Modern Architecture, taken in by bike. Perfection was personified this day. 

Now, ride with me. 

Columbus, IN ranks 6th in the nation for architectural innovation. This place has modern architecture at the core of its being. In a small, Southern Indiana city, you'll find multiple structures by the likes of: 

• Eero Saarinen

• Eliel Saarinen

• Harry Weese

• I.M. Pei

• Richard Meier

Couple these names with an extremely bike-friendly community, add a dose of fall foliage, and you've got a recipe that'll keep you warm across the impending expanse of winter. 

It all began at the Columbus Visitor Center for a map and tour insights. Friendliest people ever.  

Right behind the Visitors Center, you'll find an I.M. Pei library, a Henry Moore sculpture and an Eliel Saarinen church. 

Ride a block or two in any direction and you're struck by the density of modernism.

Eero Sarrinen designed bank on the main drag.

Ivy covered mod-ness at the Kevin Roche designed Cummins HQ.

Public art for days.

Impressive cantilevered public buildings.

Popped off at the Bicycle Station along the way for supplies and a handy bike map.

Then I stopped at Eero Sarrinen's "Miller House". Just for a peek. To get a closer, sanctioned look, you can schedule proper tours here.

I'm not a religious man, but this Eero Saarinen designed church makes me believe. In something.

One final stop to pay some respects.

Columbus, IN is worth the pilgrimage, regardless of the distance. Bring a bike, pack a lunch and revel. 




MonkeyBusiness said...

I love that bank on the main drag of Columbus, I sigh everytime I walk past and see it empty. I just want to buy it and live there.

Unknown said...

Awesome tour! I need to visit.

Ricky Berkey said...

It's a great community for a bike tour as we are very flat. Fall is a great time for a bike tour.

Cummins now owns the Irwin-Union Bank building and they have so far not declared their intentions for the space. I would be surprised if they significantly violate the architectural integrity. They mainly wanted the adjacent office space.

Anonymous said...

Love the S Saarinen church without a doubt!
Living in Chicago, there's no shortage of architectural benchmarks.
Glad to see something beyond the alarming decay of Gary.

Theagle said...

Really liked the bike! Tour was fantastic. Unusual MCM in pics. Great.