Monday, October 4, 2004

ARCHITECTURAL GIANT. Indiana lost a great mind and spirit when J. Irwin Miller died a few months ago. Miller used his influence to shape Columbus, Indiana into the “architectural capitol” of the world. The following excerpts are from a speech he gave in Indianapolis about fifteen years ago. This is great food for thought for leaders. Read more in this week's Grace Notes @

MAKE THE MOST OF SMALL OPPORTUNITIES. “Your chance is to be found in a continuing succession of small, manageable events - little opportunities as well as the great ones. Every time any public building is built, that building is a statement to anyone who uses it, anyone who passes by, as to what this city thinks about itself, what standards it sets for itself, what it aims to be.”

WHAT STATEMENTS DO OUR BUILDINGS MAKE? “It matters not whether the building be a city hall, a museum, a school, a jail, a fire station, a parking garage, a park, or for that matter, new signage laws, exposed power lines, or the design of benches at bus stops. Each, for good or ill, makes a statement.”

CREATE ENDURING MESSAGES. “If the design and construction is clearly aimed to be the best it can be, that message is sent out every day, as long as the building or the park, or the ordinance stands. If the design is ugly or routine and the construction shoddy, the message is that nobody really cares. Nothing you do or build is too small or too insignificant not to do well.” Read more of J. Irwin Miller's reflections @

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