AIA Guide to Columbus

Columbus, Ohio, the largest city in Ohio, has, since its founding in 1812, been home to many impressive architectural landmarks. The AIA Guide to Columbus, produced by the Columbus Architecture Foundation, highlights the significant buildings and neighborhoods in the Columbus metropolitan area. Skillfully blending architectural interest with historic significance, The AIA Guide to Columbus documents approximately 160 buildings and building groups and is organized geographically.

Each chapter provides an opportunity to explore a special area of Columbus’s built environment. The Columbus Architecture Foundation has been affiliated with the American Institute of Architects(AIA), Columbus Chapter, for more than thirty years. Its first book project was Architecture Columbus, published in 1976. This new companion volume updates coverage of the buildings and provides a portable, accessible guide to the city’s architectual history.

The AIA Guide to Columbus identifies buildings designated as historic and those that have won awards, and includes information on architectural styles, excellent photographs, maps, a glossary, and an index. The focus is on easy touring, whether the reader is walking or driving. Students, visitors, and residents with a penchant for knowing more about their city will enjoy discovering the rich heritage of Columbus’s downtown, special districts, and neighborhoods.

Click here to order your copy.



Downtown Architecture Map

To increase awareness of high-profile and noteworthy architecture in central Ohio, AIA Columbus is distributing a map, complete with photos and descriptions, of architecturally significant buildings Downtown free of charge to the central Ohio community.

"This is the first focused effort of this type to assemble an overview of significant historic and modern architecture in Downtown Columbus," said Richard Buchsieb, AIA. "It's important to note, however, that this is a very abbreviated version of the important architectural contributions to our community."

Click here to download part one of the map. Part two.

If you would like to have a paper copy mailed to you please request one through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lincoln Theater Tour

Lincoln Theatre tour for Friday, March 6, 2009, at 3:00 PM. Info:
  • The theatre is located on the southwest corner of Garfield and East Long, just east of I-71. East Long is one block north of East Broad.
  • Meet at the historic marquee entrance on the north (East Long Street) side.
  • This is a hardhat tour. Hardhats will be available on site.
  • Public parking is available in the lot across the street.
Project Info

The Lincoln Theatre was originally constructed between 1928-1929. It was built as a mixed-use facility that included the Theatre, the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows (an African-American fraternal organization) and a variety of street-level retail establishments, including a candy shop. The theatre has been vacant for several decades before the City of Columbus acquired the property and started renovations of the second floor in 2002. Hardlines Design Company was commissioned to rehabilitate the building for modern use. The Lincoln Theatre is scheduled to open in May 2009 and features a restored Egyptian Revival interior, a loge, and new additions to the west and south to accommodate audience and performer needs.

Columbus Architecture Foundation

The Columbus Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a not-for-profit charitable organization formed in 1974 to encourage knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the built environment in the Columbus metropolitan area. The Foundation has been affiliated with AIA Columbus, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, for 35 years, with the joint missions of educational outreach and advocacy for high-quality design of the built environment.

The Columbus Architecture Foundation has organized and carried out several major projects which have been well supported by the Columbus community including:

  • Publication of Architecture: Columbus, a 305-page, large format reference work published in 1976 and considered by many to be the definitive reference book on Columbus architecture.
  • Creation of the Central Ohio Architectural Archive, a repository at the Ohio Historical Society for archival records, papers and other documents from architectural firms significant to the development of Columbus.
  • Development of a traveling exhibition, "Defining The Dream," which celebrated the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Columbus Chapter of the AIA.
  • Publication of The AIA Guide to Columbus, an update to the 1976 publication which blends architectural interest with historic significance by documenting approximately 160 buildings in the Columbus metropolitan area.
The Foundation has provided funding to many other groups for projects in support of educational outreach about the built environment to the general public including the Columbus Landmarks Foundation for "Box City", a hands-on exhibit held in conjunction with the Columbus Arts Festival; the Liturgical Arts Guild for support of speakers; Dialogue, the Midwest Arts Magazine, for an issue devoted to architecture; the Ohio Historical Society for support of its computerized inventory of historic properties; prize money for the Central Ohio High School Design Competition; and to the OSU Department of Architecture Endowment Fund.

CAF is about to begin a new phase. Now that the book project is completed, the Foundation needs to build on this success as it looks to the future. The new initiative by AIA Columbus to create and operate a new Center for Architecture* is an opportunity for the Foundation to re-define the basis of its collaboration with and support of the AIA Columbus Chapter and to include involvement in the Center for Architecture as part of its mission.

CAF is looking for new board members – people with the energy and drive to take the foundation to the next level. This is a great opportunity:  to be engaged in the AIA Columbus Chapter, the Profession of Architecture, to make a difference.

The main objective of the Center is to build connections between the architectural community and other design professionals, artists, community leaders, and the greater public, and to provide a public place where celebration, education, conversation and debate about the built environment and design excellence can occur. It will be an exhibition gallery, studio and classroom where discussions on livable communities, urban planning and great design will take place.