NEW YORK, NY.-
Constructed in 1952 by design geniuses Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard, Dan Kiley, and Kevin Roche, Miller House and Garden integrates home and landscape in a composition of forms honoring historical precedents without forgoing innovation. Part of Assoulines renowned memoire series, this book offers a guided tour of astounding places and spaces within the newly reopened National Historic Landmarkand with it, the aspirations of the Millers and the spirit of an era.
Today, the property offers visitors the opportunity to experience one of the finest expressions of American modernism, an integration of house and landscape that draws upon historical precedents without repeating them, enfolding them in compelling compositions and spaces that capture the genius of its designers, the aspirations of its owners, and the spirit of their time.
Commissioned by industrialist and philanthropist J. Irwin Miller and his wife Xenia Simons Miller in 1952, the Miller House and Garden was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000. The house expands upon an architectural tradition developed by Ludwig Mies van der Roheepitomizing the international Modernist aestheticwith an open and flowing layout, flat roof and vast stone and glass walls. The rooms, configured beneath a grid pattern of skylights supported by cruciform steel columns, are filled with strong colors and playful patterns. Amid the residences large geometric gardens, its grandest feature is an allée of honey locust trees that runs along the west side of the house. The Miller House was the first designated National Historic Landmark listed with a still-living landscape architect that also was still occupied by its original owners at the date of its designation.
Columbus, Indiana is ranked sixth in the nation by the American Institute of Architects for architectural innovation and design. National Geographic Traveler recently ranked Columbus as Americas most significant historic place on the strength of its architectural heritage. As a way to attract outstanding architectural talent to design civic buildings in the central Indiana community of Columbus, Miller created the Architectural Program within the Cummins Engine Foundation. Miller met Eero Saarinen during the construction of the First Christian Church in Columbus, which was designed by Saarinens father Eliel. Eero Saarinen helped Miller design the Architectural Program and recruit rising young architectural talent to participate in the 1950s. In addition to the Architectural Program, which funded excellent design for public buildings, Cummins, other businesses and many churches in Columbus adopted the same strategy of using good design to create a more economically vibrant and livable city. Today there are more than 70 buildings by noted modern architectssuch as I. M. Pei, Cesar Pelli, Robert Venturi, Richard Meier, John Carl Warnecke and Harry Weesein the city, as well as public art works by internationally renowned architects and artists.
Bradley C. Brooks is director of historic resources and assistant curator of American decorative arts at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Previously, he served as director and curator of the McFaddin-Ward House in Beaumont, Texas, and as museum director, at the Moody Mansion and Museum in Galveston, Texas. Miller House and Garden marks Brooks first foray into modernism.
Miller House and Garden is available for purchase at ASSOULINE Boutiques worldwide and through www.assouline.com