Experience World-class Architecture on the Columbus Architecture Tour


    Ranked 11th worldwide for architecture

  • State designated “Art & Cultural District”
  • Wonderful public art including Dale Chicly
  • 15 block arts corridor

Columbus, Indiana is a one-of-a-kind community that embraced the future and chose architecture as the way to express its optimism. It’s a place where every brick tells a story.

Since the early 1940’s some of the world’s finest architects have left their impressions on this special place. This small, friendly town is a virtual museum of modern architecture with works by some of the most enduring names in architecture, like I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, Robert Venturi, as well as Eliel and Eero Saarinen, just to name a few.

Great design is everywhere – in 70 modern buildings, award-winning parks and landscapes, dozens of large-scale public art installations, and, even, in the bridges. This is why the American Institute of Architects ranked the city sixth in the U.S. for architectural innovation and design.

National Geographic Traveler ranked the city of 40,000 residents 11th out of 109 historic destinations worldwide by National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations. Columbus scored 78 points in the annual survey, placing it 11th on the list, higher than any other U.S. destination.

“Although it is surprising to see a Midwestern burg in the company of Dijon and Stockholm, this jewel in the region boasts world-class mid-century modern architecture,” the magazine states.

Back in the 1950’s and 1960s, during the post-war boom, city leaders were inspired to transform this community in a bold way, by creating a community that is both beautiful and livable. Many of the city’s buildings feature sleek modern lines. The modernist influence can be seen in office buildings, schools, churches and the dozens of architecturally-significant buildings.

Visitors can learn more about the community’s architectural heritage by visiting the Columbus Visitors Center. Guided bus tours, cell phone tours and self-guided tours are available. Visit www.columbus.in.us to learn more.

Public Art

More than 40 pieces of public art complement the amazing architectural offerings in the small but forward-thinking city of Columbus. The newest addition, “Sun Garden Panels in Suspended Circle,” a colorful creation by Dale Chihuly sited within the Columbus Learning Center, recently joined an impressive roster of works that includes the kinetic “Chaos” sculpture by Jean Tinguely, the ethereal “Eos” goddess sculpture by Dessa Kirk, and the “Large Arch” by Henry Moore that adorns the plaza outside the Bartholomew County Public Library.

The Columbus Arts District, located in Downtown Columbus, encompasses more than 360 arts programs and cultural assets within four corridors focused on attracting, growing, shaping and engaging the public. The Commerce Corridor is located primarily on Washington Street and spans 15 blocks north and south within the Arts District. The Arts and Education Corridor can be found along Jackson Street with major assets such as the Indiana University Center for Art+Design Columbus, the YES Cinema independent movie theatre and the Jacksson Contemporary Art Gallery. Fifth Street is home to the Architecture Corridor and is recognized as one of the most architecturally significant streets in America. Fourth Street, which has received a major makeover to become an urban events and pedestrian plaza, features the Entertainment Corridor.