Conference on preserving historic places coup for city

Columbus’ many well-known examples of Modern architecture has generated a worldwide reputation. The American Institute of Architects ranks the city sixth for significant architecture nationally.

Its architectural heritage has brought many guests to the community, both for architecture tours through the Columbus Area Visitors Center and through Exhibit Columbus, a symposium in 2016 and an exhibit last year of 18 temporary structures to celebrate art, architecture and design.

Now the city’s legacy is bringing a statewide conference to town that will focus on preserving historic places. Indiana Landmarks, in partnership with Indiana University and the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, will present “Preserving Historic Places,” its 49th annual conference, April 17-20 with conference sessions at First Christian Church and other downtown locations.

About 200 people are expected to register for the event.

The committee that selects the site chose Columbus for its renowned and popular examples of Modern architecture, and particularly because some of the city’s most revered buildings are turning 50 years old this year.

For example, both Lincoln Elementary School (now known as Columbus Signature Academy _ Lincoln) and the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library, the flagship of the Bartholomew County Public Library system, are hitting the half-century mark.

Attracting this conference is another feather in Columbus’ cap in terms of visibility, and another way to keep the momentum going from Exhibit Columbus, guided by Landmark Columbus, a program of Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County. Landmark Columbus is dedicated to preserving and maintaining Columbus architectural heritage.

The conference also will serve as a nice segue into the second Exhibit Columbus symposium, set for Sept. 26-29.

Columbus’ architectural heritage is worth celebrating and preserving, because what was constructed here has a lot to say to many people. Ensuring that it does for decades to come is important.

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