Preserving a Design-Centric Community | I know I have previously written about my small hometown of Columbus Indiana, however, a new article by from the American Institute of Architects caused me to reflect on it more this weekend. Growing up I don’t think I recognized the town’s uniqueness as I was simply trying to be a kid fitting in like any other kid. A recent article regarding Columbus led me to reflect back and I remembered a black and white crayon drawing I created in 3rd grade. It looks like a typical child’s drawing, but then I thought about it further. The drawing is of a Harry Weese designed church that stood on the hill across from my Edward Larrabe Barnes designed elementary school.
That drawing was then framed and hung in our county library designed by I.M.Pei next to the Henry Moore sculpture I used to bang my little hands on to create the hollow sound of the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz. The sculpture was centered in a brick plaza across from the North Christian Church designed by Eliel Saarinen. Clearly, my childhood was not so typical and perhaps I was being subtly brainwashed in the community’s design-centric spirit. I truly can’t recall ever thinking about design, but clean architectural lines in austere landscapes definitely feel at home to me.
The article by the American Institute of Architects recognizes Columbus as one of the most celebrated concentrations of mid-century architecture in the country. While it gets into details about the future challenges of physical preservation of their buildings it speaks to preserving a community philosophy around good design — “The other thing that needs to be preserved is this intangible thing—a community that wants good design. The idea that needs to be preserved is the value of making good things.” — which is something many of us feel is important for our own community of Asheville.
Whether a Columbus type of philosophy can be applied here remains to be seen, but it is worth considering something of our very own beyond the past and for our future. In the meantime you can red the full article here. Enjoy your Sunday. Cheers!