Since 1966, the Indianapolis Museum of Art has been the steward of one the most significant properties in Indianapolis history, and in 2009, the IMA added another historic house to its holdings. Both former residences were home to some of Indiana’s most prominent families, the gardens of both homes have been long-recognized for their landscape design, and both homes are National Historic Landmarks.
Oldfields – Lilly House & Gardens is a rare example of an American Country Place era estate, the period between about 1880 and 1940 when great landscaped estates were built on the outskirts of cities across America. The 22-room French chateau sits amid the Oldfields landscape, which was designed in the 1920s by Percival Gallagher of the Olmsted Brothers firm. A gift of Ruth Lilly and her brother J.K. Lilly III, the home once served as the Museum’s decorative arts pavilion. Learn more about the Oldfields Estate.
Commissioned by industrialist and philanthropist J. Irwin Miller and his wife Xenia Simons Miller in 1952, Miller House and Garden was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000. Miller House was designed by Eero Saarinen with interiors by Alexander Girard, and landscape design by Daniel Urban Kiley. The house expands upon an architectural tradition developed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe—epitomizing the international Modernist aesthetic—with an open and flowing layout, flat roof and vast stone and glass walls. The rooms, configured beneath a grid pattern of skylights supported by cruciform steel columns, are filled with strong colors and playful patterns. Amid the residence’s large geometric gardens, its grandest feature is an allée of honey locust trees that runs along the west side of the house. Learn more about Miller House & Garden.