COLUMBUS, Ind. — When new owners purchased what is now The Inn at Irwin Gardens in December 2009, the ornate, century-old, Italian-themed grounds awaited more than spring’s renewal.

The popular Fifth Street mansion and property, known partly to locals especially in recent years as the boyhood home of former Cummins leader and architectural aficionado J. Irwin Miller, had been untended for about a year while a buyer was found. The grounds were closed after the community leader’s wife and arts supporter, Xenia Miller, died in 2008.

But that was then. This is now — about halfway through a six- to eight-year effort to restore the approximate one-acre classic gardens to their original heyday.

Please read Thursday’s edition of The Republic for more details.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.