301 Washington Street: Cornerstone of Columbus, Indiana
On the northeast corner of Third and Washington streets in downtown Columbus, Indiana, stands a late nineteenth century brick building with limestone lintels, cast iron columns, and an iron cornice emblazoned with "IRWIN'S BANK 1881." A brushed brass box with smoked glass penetrates the porch's glass-tiled wall and serves as the Washington Street entrance. Locally the building is known simply as "301" for its street number.
The building at 301 Washington Street — more than any other in Columbus — tells the story of the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller family. While many families have contributed to shaping Columbus over the last two hundred years, the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller family holds a unique position for its involvement in business, religion, politics, art, and philanthropy locally, nationally, and internationally.
This digital exhibit, by highlighting materials from the Bartholomew County Public Library, the Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives, and the Bartholomew County Historical Society, explores four generations of the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller family, the businesses located at 301 Washington Street, and the building's design history over nearly 100 years.
This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library. The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this online exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.