I couldn’t leave Santa Claus, Indiana, this morning without photographing the town hall and welcome sign for “America’s Christmas Hometown.” Thank goodness I’m not collecting Christmas ornaments on this trip. Although the town was way too hokey for my taste, I might have been tempted to shop.
|Welcome to Santa Claus, Indiana|
|Town Hall at Santa Claus, Indiana|
Our focus again today was on architecture. It’s pretty amazing how much southern Indiana has to offer.
Jane and I had both wanted to visit the historic West Baden Springs Hotel in West Baden Springs, Indiana, ever since hearing about its remarkable restoration from near-ruin. Constructed in 1902, the hotel is a magnificent piece of architecture, and its restoration has won numerous historic preservation awards. The hotel’s massive dome houses an amazing atrium that took my breath away.
|Atrium at the West Baden Springs Hotel|
|Dome and Atrium at the West Baden Springs Hotel|
|Fireplace at the West Baden Springs Hotel|
On the way out of town, we made a stop for lunch at the Little Twirl Dairy Bar in Livonia, Indiana. The blackberry cobbler topped with soft vanilla ice cream was superb. We hope to sample pies and cobblers across the country and vote for our favorites.
Columbus, Indiana, was the main destination for the day. The town has also been on my bucket list for some time. Columbus is a small, historic town of 44,000 people, but is world-renowned for its modern architecture. The history of modern architecture in Columbus began in 1942 when the First Christian Church dedicated its new building designed by Eliel Saarinen. Other modern buildings soon followed.
|First Christian Church, Eliel Sarinen, 1942|
|First Financial Bank Downtown, Eero Saarinen, 1954|
|Cummins Inc. Worldwide Headquarters, Kevin Roche, 1983|
|Chaos I, Jean Tinguely, 1974|