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.