Stay: Tryon Farm

Michigan City, Indiana
10.27.2010 | by: Meghan

Last fall, I spent the night at a sweet bed and breakfast in a farmhouse on the edge of Tryon Farm—a modern conservation development outside Chicago—so I could check out the 170-acre idyll that I’d read so much about (Dwell, The New York Times, and the magazine I edit, CS Interiors). The super-charming developers of the project, Eve and Ed Noonan, drove me around in their little Nissan Cube and I was hooked. Modernist architecture—tall treehouse-inspired structures in the woods and flat, low-riding berm houses with sod roofs near the wetlands—built with environmentally conscious materials like bamboo flooring and insulation made from recycled blue jeans. And nature of every variety, in every direction.

So this year, when I found out that Laurel Rundle, who owns a two-story cabin at the farm, was going to start renting it out, I loaded up the whole family for a long weekend. And I’m just as smitten. With a huge steel fireplace, floor-to-ceiling views over the meadow, sheepskins tossed over chairs and tons of great art, Laurel’s place couldn’t possibly be more darling or comfy. Building on the Tryon tradition of using natural materials whenever possible, Laurel had a built-in bench made from recycled barnwood and a beautiful, low-slung coffee table created by a local craftsman based on a sketch of her own design. We went on hikes, picked fresh herbs from the end-of-season community garden for our dinners, visited the chickens, and spent hours in front of the fireplace playing board games and reading.

The Details
Price starts at $1,500 for a week. Two bedrooms and a sleeping loft. To rent, contact Laurel at [email protected].


Visit: Miller House

Columbus, Indiana
09.20.2010 | by: Meghan

I was feeling guilty about letting another summer slip by without taking the Architectural Marvel Summer Road Trip I’ve been planning for the last seven years. I live in the Midwest, so it’s pretty inexcusable that I haven’t been to Columbus, Indiana—a pinprick of a town that has more than 70 buildings by some of the world’s most revered modernist architects. Thanks to a foundation that offered to pay the architect’s fee for any public building that was designed by an architect selected from a specific list (that’s the short version of the story anyway), Columbus is now a functioning, small-town repository of buildings by super-star architects like Harry Weese, Richard Meier, Eliel Saarinen and I.M. Pei.

But I just found out that the Indianapolis Museum of Art acquired the Miller House, which was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1957 for Joseph Miller (the man who started the aforementioned foundation) with gardens by Dan Kiley. And yes, it’s an open-plan, flat-roofed, glass-walled ode to  the international modernist style of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, but I am far more giddy about the Alexander Girard interiors. Alexander Girard! Herman Miller textile genius! It will be open to the public sometime in 2012. Trip postponed another two years; I don’t mind waiting.