Columbus : Indiana


What It Is Like to Retire in Columbus

Columbus only has a growing population of 44,000 people, but it has the distinction of being one of America's top cities for architecture. It has six buildings designated as National Historic Landmarks, and 60 other distinguished buildings keep its reputation as a showcase of modern architecture.

The reason for this architectural oasis in the center of Indiana is owed to one man - J.Erwin Miller, former CEO of the Cummins Engine Company. Mr. Miller had the ingenious idea that he would pay the architectural fees on any building - IF the organization chose one of the firms on his list. And what a list - IM Pei, Cesar Pelli, Richard Meier, Eero Saarinen - just to name a few. As all types of buildings from schools to churches took him up on his offer, Columbus cemented its future and became a must destination for lovers of architecture.

Columbus has won a number of awards including "America in Bloom" as well as being named one of "The Ten Most Playful Towns". There are 4 shopping centers listed in Columbus. Photo of Columbus City Hall and photo of Eero Saarinen designed North Christian Church courtesy of Wikipedia and Greg5030 Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/


Where to Retire in Columbus and Home Prices

Real estate prices in Columbus have been very stable for the past several years.

Zillow reported the median home value was $188,761 in early 2021.


What Is Special about Columbus

Arguably the greatest concentration of modern architecture in the world: * First Christian Church by Eliel Saarinen * Irwin Union Bank by Eero Saarinen -landscape by Dan Kiley, addition by Kevin Roche * Residence of J. Irwin Miller by Eero Saarinen( landscape by Dan Kiley) * Mabel McDowell School by John Carl Warnecke * North Christian Church - Eero Saarinen * First Baptist Church by Harry Wees

What Is Not Special about Columbus

Lack of diversity. Small towns aren't for everybody.

Who Will Like Retirement in Columbus

Architecture fans and people who prefer small mid-western towns. See the article we wrote about Columbus: "An Architectural Gem with Everything You Need for Retirement".


Local Economy Is Driven by

Manufacturing is a major driver of the economy, and Cummins Engines is the largest employer.

Climate and Physical Environment

The terrain is mostly flat with rolling hills. The Flat Rock and Driftwood Rivers are here. It is mostly agricultural. Lake Monroe and Brown County State Park are local attractions. The average Jan temp is in the high 20s and the average July temp in the mid 70s.  Columbus is in southcentral Indiana.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

In addition to architecture there important sculptures by Henry Moore and Jean Tinguely The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic enjoys a solid reputation and has been broadcast nationwide multiple times. The orchestra has teamed with the Indianapolis Children's Choir to form the Columbus Indiana Children's Choir. There are 3 movie theaters and several museums, whereas the downtown landmark Crump Theater holds occasional live performances. The downtown has some nice shops, restaurants, a classic European ice cream parlor, and outdoor cafes. The I.M. Pei designed library is enormous and beautiful. The cultural attractions of Indianapolis are about 45 miles away, while Bloomington, home to the huge Indiana University, is within driving range.



The Crime Index in Columbus is 320 vs. the U.S. average of 319.


Medical Facilities

Columbus Regional is the local hospital, there are others within 20 miles.


Columbus Municipal Airport is 4 miles away, Indianapolis International is 44 miles.

Valuable Links

Columbus Indiana
Wikipedia on Columbus
Columbus City-Data
More community reviews at Topretirements
Columbus Chamber of Commerce
State mini-guides to retirement

What people are saying about Columbus

Columbus is a great place to retire, particularly for the summer and fall. But somehow the previous comment seems to apply to Columbus, Indiana. That city is the most interesting place for architecture in the country. See
Posted by admin on May 12, 2021
Great architecture is nice
I know some people who put seeing this city on their bucket lists. Not sure what it would be like to live here, but must be wonderful if you are into architecture!
Posted by admin on November 03, 2011

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