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CAF invites you to discover the many architectural treasures of Columbus, Indiana—home to more than 75 buildings designed by internationally celebrated architects. Join us Sept. 7-9 on an exploration of works by I.M. Pei, Eliel Saarinen, Harry Weese and more.

$800 per member (based on double occupancy)
$950 per member (single occupancy)
Lecture Hall @ CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Trip Overview

Often referred to as the “Athens of the Prairie,” Columbus, Indiana is a place that needs to be on any serious design enthusiast’s bucket list. Incredibly, this town of 50,000 residents is home to seven national landmarks and multiple structures by four Pritzker laureates—an accomplishment jumpstarted in the 1950s by the vision and generosity of industrialist J. Irwin Miller.

Columbus is ranked sixth in the nation by The American Institute of Architects when it comes to architectural innovation and design. National Geographic Traveler has even honored Columbus as America’s most significant historic place on the strength of its architectural heritage. Take a ride with us as we explore some of Columbus’s architectural works by internationally renowned architects, designers and artists—from the Saarinens to Richard Meier, Dan Kiley to Michael van Valkenburgh, as well as many regional including the Weeses, Don Hisaka and Gunnar Birkerts.

While unlikely, slight changes to this itinerary may occur.


Day 1

In the morning, we will gather at CAF, enjoy a continental breakfast and depart on a motor coach to Columbus. Upon arrival, we will drop off our bags at Hotel Indigo and take a brief break to stretch our legs.

In the afternoon, we will embark on a bus tour of Columbus led by CAF docent Henry Kuehn. We’ll see memorable projects by Eero Saarinen, Harry Weese, Cesar Pelli, I.M. Pei, Deborah Berke and many more. We will return to the hotel for check-in and rest before dinner.

Meals included: Continental breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 2

We’ll enjoy breakfast at the hotel before taking in the Columbus Exhibit, a series of temporary outdoor installations by prominent architects, artist and gallerists, and viewing a video presentation at the Columbus Area Visitor Center. Later, we’ll head to the famed Miller House and Garden—a masterwork derived from the collaboration of Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard and Dan Kiley. In 2000, the Miller House became the first National Historic Landmark to receive its designation while one of its designers, Dan Kiley, was still living and while the structure was still occupied by its original owners.

There will be free time to explore and have lunch. In the afternoon, we will embark on a tour of some residential districts, during which we’ll survey the many Dan Kiley landscapes in the area.

We will return to the hotel for a brief rest and then board the bus for dinner.

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 3

We will start the day early with breakfast before checking out of the hotel and driving an hour north to the Indianapolis Museum of Art—one of the largest museum art parks in the country. While there, we’ll visit the Oldfields-Lilly House and Gardens, an elegant 26-acre estate and National Historic Landmark on the museum grounds that is a perfect contrast to the Modernist Miller House. After our estate tour, we’ll enjoy lunch at the museum and visit the gift shop before heading home to Chicago.

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

  • Cost includes round-trip transportation to Columbus, hotel accommodations for two nights, admission fees for tours, transportation to and from tour sites while in Columbus, one continental breakfast, two hotel breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners.
  • Continental breakfast will be served at CAF starting at 6:45am on Sept. 7. Please arrive early to check-in, eat and be ready to depart at 7:30am

In the unfortunate event that you have to cancel your participation in the Columbus, IN travel program, the following terms will apply: Reservations cancelled up to and including 70 days prior to departure will incur a $50 administrative fee. Later cancellations will be subject to the following charges: 40 to 69 days before scheduled departure 50% of tour cost; 7 to 39 days prior to departure the total cost of the trip, less any recoverable sums from independent providers or services, accommodations and the like; 6 days or less, including no-shows, or early return from the trip will result in forfeiture of 100% of the trip cost.