You've probably never heard of Columbus, Indiana, and that's fine, because it's never heard of you either. HA! Anyway, just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean it's not significant; nicknamed the “Athens of the Prairie,” Columbus is considered by many to be one of the best architecture cities in the United States. "How can that possibly be true if I haven't even heard of it?" you ask, dumbfounded. The answer is one J. Irwin Miller, industrialist and patron of modern architecture (as well as diligent civil rights activist), who established the Cummins Foundation to pay all the architects' fees for new public buildings throughout Columbus through his role as chairman of the family business, Cummins, now a Fortune 500 manufacturing company.
Because of this, Columbus has structures designed by the likes of I.M. Pei, Eero Saarinen, Richard Meier, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, with many interiors designed by Alexander Girard. So significant is the architecture here that, in 1991, the American Institute of Architects declared Columbus sixth in the nation for architectural innovation and design.