Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eliel Saarinen in Indianapolis

Eliel Saarinen, architect of the First Christian Church in Columbus, Indiana, among other extraordinary Modernist buildings, is shown here judging a competition at the 1928 Indiana Society of Architects show, which took place at the John Herron Art Institute.

On the walls are architects Pierre & Wright's prize-winning display showing Oxford Gables Apartments and other commissions. Pierre & Wright won honorary gold certificates for best apartment building (Oxford Gables, 320 E. 38th Street) and best commercial building (27th and Meridian Streets).

At the time he received the award, Edward Pierre and his wife Louise lived in the Oxford Gables apartment building, in #207. Not only did he design and live in the building, but along with Wright they invested in the $287,800 project. It was one of the only documented times where the firm financially invested in a project they designed.

Also of note, the architectural firm of Johnson, Miller, Miller & Yeager from Terre Haute, whose collection we also have in the Drawings + Documents Archive, won honorary gold certificate for their design of the B'nai Abraham Temple in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The photograph of Saarinen and an article about the show that most likely appeared in the Indianapolis Star are found tucked into the scrapbook in the Pierre and Wright Architectural Records Collection that dates from the 1920s. The collection also contains some of the large-scale photographs seen in the picture.

Image: Scrapbook, Pierre & Wright Architectural Records Collection, Ball State University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections, Drawings and Documents Archive.

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