Team looks for Columbus projects that never happened

The Never Built team of Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell have found some tantalizing clues on their hunt for architectural projects planned for Columbus, but that ultimately fell through.

The team, who have done similar projects in New York and Los Angeles, spoke yesterday morning on the first day of the Columbus activities for the Exhibit Columbus symposium. They said their research is just beginning locally but they have found plans for a vastly different entrance to downtown, a proposed revamp of the entrance to Mill Race Park, a possible Frank Lloyd Wright home here and other architectural artifacts.

The team began combing through the Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives at the Bartholomew County Public Library earlier this summer and talking to local residents. Their research will ultimately take them to architectural firms and archives around the country looking for those illusory projects.

Ultimately, the team plan to finish their Columbus work in time for the next phase of Exhibit Columbus — the installations that will take place downtown next year.

They were joined onstage by Matthew Kreilich of Minneapolis-based Snow Kreilich Architects whose firm had started designing a State Street complex to replace the former Bartholomew County annex building and to house Volunteers in Medicine. But the project ultimately fell apart. Kreilich said he felt honored and overwhelmed to have been chosen for a Columbus project. He said it is a challenge to try to come up with a building that will stand the test of time and stand alongside the other architectural landmarks here.

And while the project falling through was ultimately disheartening, about 20 percent of the projects in his practice end up falling through. He said he thought that ratio was fairly standard across the industry and that in today’s world there are very few projects that proceed from first concept to actual building without some sort of delay or hiccup.

He said that while every architectural project starts with a fresh slate based on the client’s needs, ultimately elements of the discarded projects frequently show up in later works that actually get built.

Symposium events start again this morning at First Christian Church. You can get more information at