Mabel McDowell Adult Education Center

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Mabel McDowell Elementary School
Mabel McDowell Adult Education Center is located in Indiana
Mabel McDowell Adult Education Center
Location 2700 McKinley Ave., Columbus, Indiana
Coordinates 39°12′7″N 85°53′31″W / 39.20194°N 85.89194°W / 39.20194; -85.89194Coordinates: 39°12′7″N 85°53′31″W / 39.20194°N 85.89194°W / 39.20194; -85.89194
Architectural style Modern
NRHP Reference # 01000068[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP January 03, 2001
Designated NHL January 3, 2003[2]
Detail showing detached pod

The Mabel McDowell Adult Education Center (formerly the Mabel McDowell Elementary School) was built in 1960 in Columbus, Indiana.

The building, designed by architect John Carl Warnecke, was converted to an adult education center in 1982.

In 2001, the building was designated by the National Park Service as a National Historic Landmark because of its architecture. In its application to the National Park Service for protected status, the building is described as "significant as an early example of modern architecture in Columbus, and as an important example of the contextual work of John Carl Warnecke, a leading architect of the twentieth century."[3] Warnecke also designed the John F. Kennedy grave at Arlington National Cemetery and the Hawaii State Capitol building.

Warnecke's design for McDowell attempted to combine functionality with open space reminiscent of an Indiana farm landscape. In his concept for McDowell, Warnecke said a "dominant characteristic of southern Indiana is the flat terrain, a horizontal theme accentuated by tall Victorian houses, barns, and silos, with picturesque groves of trees. The school design is based on the creation of similar grouping of masses and spaces in a scheme which focuses the school group into its own controlled environment, yet extends it outward to the community."


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "McDowell, Mabel, Elementary School". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  3. ^ Thayer, Laura. "National Historic Landmark Nomination: Mabel McDowell Elementary School". National Park Service.  and Accompanying six photos from 1999