PennPraxis team to help preserve iconic modernist home in Indiana

The Miller House and Garden is considered one of the finest examples of Modernist domestic design—a midcentury masterpiece in Columbus, Indiana, brought to life by a trio of renowned designers at the top of their fields.

Exterior view of Miller House, with a pebble courtyard with trees and a bench, green lawns and a modernist home.
Miller House and Garden, Columbus, Indiana. (Image courtesy: Newfields)

PennPraxis team will help to chart the future course of that work.

The team will partner with Newfields/Indianapolis Museum of Art, which owns the estate, to develop a conservation management plan for the home and landscaping. The work is made possible by a recently awarded $170,000 grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its “Keeping It Modern” initiative.

“The Miller House is one of the most significant Modernist domestic sites in the U.S.—and maybe even the world,” says Pamela Hawkes, a professor of practice in historic preservation and principal at Scattergood Design, who will serve as project director. One of only two projects awarded funding in the U.S., she says the award “is an indication of how significant the building is, and how great the opportunity and the need are.”

Commissioned in 1953 by philanthropist J. Irwin Miller and his wife, Xenia Simons Miller, the estate is lauded for the symbiosis of architecture, interiors, and landscape achieved by three iconic designers: Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard, and Daniel Kiley. The property was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000 and donated to the museum in 2009.

Read more at Weitzman School News.