Columbus, Indiana is the site of a group of over 70 structures, landscapes, and interiors designed by some of the leading architects, landscape architects, planners and interior designers to have worked in the United States from 1942 to the present.

Although this group of structures is very well known, and has become an identifying feature of the city, in recent years it has become apparent that considerable erosion in their fabric was taking place. Although the list of buildings has continued to expand, the earlier buildings have been subject to neglect, alteration, and even demolition.

While on the board of Preserve to Enjoy, the local preservation organization, Louis Joyner led an effort to address this erosion of fabric. In consultation with state and federal organizations and agencies, it was determined that a number of the buildings would be eligible for consideration as a National Historic Landmark Multiple Property District. Designation as such was considered a first step in developing a comprehensive plan for the preservation of all the buildings and sites. 

In order to pursue the project further, Mr. Joyner resigned from the board, and teamed with The Sorrow Kinsella Partnership. In consultation with National Historic Landmarks staff, the list of buildings to be nominated was narrowed to six, and a district nomination as well as individual nominations were prepared. The buildings nominated were:

First Christian Church, 1942, Eliel Saarinen, Architect
Irwin Union Bank, 1954, Eero Saarinen, Architect
J. Irwin Miller House, 1955, Eero Saarinen, Architect
Mabel McDowell School, 1962, John Carl Warnecke, Architect
North Christian Church, 1963, Eero Saarinen, Architect
First Baptist Church, 1965, Harry Weese, Architect

The designation of this group as a constitutes the first National Historic Landmark Multiple Property District whose significance is 
primarily related to Modernism. Based on criteria established in the district nomination, additional structures are eligible for nomination, and may be added in the future.

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