Columbus, Indiana Architecture Tour
One of the most stunning aspects of Columbus, Indiana is the city’s impressive architecture, and if you want to experience it first-hand in the most up close and personal way possible, it’s highly recommended that you take the “Architecture Highlights” bus tour run through the City of Columbus visitors’ center.
The tour lasts approximately two hours, which may seem short at first glance but in reality it affords you an excellent introduction to the city and its beautiful architectural highlights.
The tour starts off with a brief history lesson on how modern-day Columbus came to be; long story short, the 1942 groundbreaking of the First Christian Church – designed by Finnish-American architect Eliel Saarinen – inspired an executive at local Cummins Engine Company to create the Cummins Foundation Architecture Program. This program would provide funding for architects’ fees for new public buildings, with the provision that that architects in question came off a shortlist of renowned masters.
Born out of this program over the years was a city full of world-class banks, schools and church buildings, along with a wealth of art and sculpture from expert architects such as I.M. Pei, the designer of the Louvre pyramid and Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art.
After the history lesson, the tour itself – which starts and ends at the visitors’ center – begins in earnest, and includes stops inside Saarinen’s First Christian Church, as well as North Christian Church – designed by Saarinen’s son, Eero – as well as a variety of other locations, with volunteer tour guides who bring character to buildings around town.
The tour costs $25, ($20 for students) and usually runs twice per day on weekends. Tours often sell out well in advance, so book tour early.
To find out more, please visit https://columbus.in.us/architecture-tour.
The Columbus Visitors Center
506 5th Street
Columbus, IN 47201