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AIA Indianapolis Hosts First In-Person Event in 15 Months

Bill Cooler, AIA speaks at historic Greenwood venue designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and completed by Cooler’s father, Harry.
Bill Cooler, AIA speaks at historic Greenwood venue designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and completed by Cooler’s father, Harry.
Rick Fetz, AIA and Joe Alberts, AIA Indianapolis sponsor, enjoying their time at the recent AIA Indianapolis event
Rick Fetz, AIA and Joe Alberts, AIA Indianapolis sponsor, enjoying their time at the recent AIA Indianapolis event
(Left to right) Members of the AIA Indianapolis Board of Directors Neil Hoestman, AIA; Patrick Kestner, AIA; and Jason Larrison, AIA
(Left to right) Members of the AIA Indianapolis Board of Directors Neil Hoestman, AIA; Patrick Kestner, AIA; and Jason Larrison, AIA
AIA Indianapolis held its first in-person event since March 12, 2020, on June 10 at Harry Cooler Conference Center in Greenwood, Indiana.

This event brought members of AIA Indianapolis, sponsors, and friends back together after 15 months. The evening’s venue, originally known as Southwind by the Mills Family, the first of several owners of the current Harry Cooler Conference Center, is a classic example of iconic Mid-Century architecture.

Originally constructed in the mid 1950’s, the Mills House has long stood as one of Greenwood’s most original architectural landmarks. After years of falling into a state of disrepair the home has been meticulously restored to its original glory, now hosting events such as weddings, baby showers, and business meetings.

AIA Indianapolis has a particular tie to the Mills House: Harry Cooler, AIA, was commissioned by Ernie and Edith Mills to complete the design of this Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired masterpiece.

During the renovation and restoration of the building, Harry’s son, Bill Cooler, AIA, was asked to share his father’s original vision of the home with Todd Anthony, who now owns the home. Harry Cooler passed away in 2016, and over the next 18-plus months, Bill Cooler and Anthony worked together to bring this quintessential 1950’s structure back to life.

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The June AIA Indianapolis program kicked off with a reception and tours of the home. Nearly 60 members were on hand for the Continuing Education program provided by Cooler and Anthony concerning the initial design and eventual decline to the recent renovation and rebranding as the Harry Cooler Conference Center.

AIA Indianapolis’ 2021 programs will continue with a hybrid schedule. July’s program will be virtual and will feature Juan Miro, FAIA, Miro Rivera Architects, Austin Texas. August will feature another in-person event as members and sponsors tour Indianapolis’ Community Justice Campus.

All AIA Indianapolis/AIA Indiana news and programs can be found by going to AIAIndiana.org.

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