Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

J. Irwin Miller House and Garden (1957)

Eero Saarinen Architect

Daniel Kiley, Landscape Architect

2760 Highland Way, Columbus IN 47201

Aerial View and Directions

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Photos taken March 16 2012

My first stop in Columbus was the tour of the recently opened J.Irwin Miller House by Eero Saarinen. This modern masterpiece is well worth the trip. The 6,838 sq. ft. single story pavilion overlooks a 12 acre site designed by Landscape Architect Dan Kiley. The structure is organized in a grid formed by 16 cruciform steel columns connected by linear skylights. There is a 50 foot long display and storage wall, a cylindrical fireplace, and the quintessential conversation pit. The exterior walls are large glass panels which slide into pockets in the wall, opening the living room to the terrace and the yard beyond. Magnificent.

The house is now owned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and is open for tours. The house is meticulously preserved and maintained, none of which I can show you in my blog – as cameras, cell phones, sketch paper and pencils (or any other writing utensil) are prohibited. After the tour, you can buy a small book with photos of the house for $25 in the gift shop. I understand that this is one of the reasons that the house is (and will continue to be ) in “original” condition. ( I am also sure the rule helps with book sales).  I would have paid an additional $25 if I could take my own photos.

The house is not visible from the street hidden behind Kiley’s hedge row.

I do hope that they add a special tour for photographers to capture the angles and elements they find interesting (following strict rules and supervision to not disrupt the house and its contents). If they do….I will add my photos of the building to this post

3 responses

  1. The IMA is planning to offer camera tours in the future but so far they are still in the planning stages. I’m a volunteer Columbus Architecture and Miller House tour guide and I have yet to be able to take my own photos! Or sit down. I have been in the basement though! I do a blog about Columbus Architecture and Design. Here is a link to my Miller House entry:


    March 21, 2012 at 5:22 PM

  2. Donna Winsted

    I lived in Columbus for a few years while the Miller House was still occupied – and always wondered what was behind those huge hedges. I finally got to take a tour of the house last Fall. When I got home, I made a rough sketch of the floor plan if you’d like to see it. Let me know and I’ll send it to you. 😀

    March 21, 2012 at 5:28 PM

  3. Ricky Berkey

    There are now 2 photo tours conducted each month as well as a special “Curator’s” tour that allows photography:


    July 12, 2012 at 6:07 AM

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