Columbus is a city in and the county seat of Bartholomew County, Indiana, United States. The population was 44,061 at the 2010 census. Located approximately forty miles (64 km) south of Indianapolis, on the east fork of the White River, it is the state's 20th largest city. It is also the principal city of the Columbus, Indiana, metropolitan statistical area which encompasses all of Bartholomew County.
Columbus is currently ranked 11th in the US on the list of safest cities per population. National Geographic Traveler ranked Columbus 11th on its historic destinations list in late 2008, describing the city as "authentic, unique, and unspoiled." Columbus won the national contest "America in Bloom" in 2006, and in 2004 it was named one of "The Ten Most Playful Towns" by Nick Jr. Family Magazine. The July 2005 edition of GQ Magazine named Columbus one of the "62 Reasons to Love Your Country." Columbus is the headquarters of the engine company Cummins, Inc.
Arts and Culture
Museums and Other Points of Interest
Columbus is a city known for its architecture. J. Irwin Miller, 2nd CEO and a nephew of a Co-Founder of Cummins Inc., the Columbus-headquartered diesel engine manufacturer, instituted a program in which the Cummins company paid the architects' fee, provided the client selected a firm from a list compiled by Miller. The plan was initiated with public schools and was so successful that Miller decided to defray the design costs of fire stations, public housing, and other community structures.
The high number of notable public buildings and sculptures in the Columbus area, designed by such individuals as Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Robert Venturi, Cesar Pelli, and Richard Meier have led to Columbus earning the nickname "Athens of the Prairie." Six buildings, built between 1942 and 1965, are National Historic Landmarks, and approximately 60 other buildings sustain the Bartholomew County seat's reputation as a showcase of modern architecture. National Geographic Magazine once devoted an entire article to the town's architecture.
The Indiana Diesels of the Premier Basketball League Play their home games at the gymnasium at Ceraland Park, with plans to move to a proposed downtown sports complex in the near future. Columbus also boasts a roller derby league, the Terrorz of Tiny Towns. Established in 2010, this league hosts weekly practices at Columbus Skateland.
Parks and Recreation
Columbus boasts over 700 acres (280 ha) of parks and green space and over 20 miles of People Trails. These amenities, in addition to several World class athletic and community facilities, including Donner Aquatic Center, Lincoln Park Softball Complex, Hamilton Center Ice Arena, Clifty Park, Foundation for Youth/Columbus Gymnastics Center and The Commons, are managed and maintained by the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department.
There is currently one mainstream movie theater, AMC 12, which shows new movies, and the Yes! Cinema shows independent, older, and foreign films from its location downtown. The landmark Crump Theatre featured occasional local performances, such as comedy and local rock or punk bands, and occasional theatrical performances. There is a canoe livery, Blue's Canoes, that offers canoeing, rafting and kayaking trips on the nearby Driftwood River.
National Historical Landmarks
Other Notable Buildings
- First Baptist Church
- First Christian Church
- Irwin Union Bank
- The Mabel McDowell School
- The Miller House
- North Christian Church
- Cleo Rogers Memorial Library, by I. M. Pei
- Columbus East High School, by Romaldo Giurgola
- Commons Centre and Mall, by César Pelli
- St. Peter's Lutheran Church, by Gunnar Birkerts
- Lincoln Elementary School, by Gunnar Birkerts
- Otter Creek Golf Course, by Harry Weese
- Fire Station No. 4, by Robert Venturi
- The Republic Newspaper, by Myron Goldsmith
- Large Arch, sculpture by Henry Moore
- Chaos I, 1974 sculpture by Jean Tinguely
- Eos, sculpture by Dessa Kirk