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New Harmony’s Atheneum Is Indiana’s Most Iconic Building
June 14, 2021

New Harmony’s Atheneum Is Indiana’s Most Iconic Building

by The CE Shop Team

Allow Atheneum to Introduce Itself

New Harmonywas established originally as a utopia by Robert Owen in 1925. The Atheneum building, named after a temple dedicated to the Greek god Athena, is the welcome center to New Harmony and was designed by architect Richard Meier. The most iconic building in Indiana is this all-white structure that’s won multiple awards including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Twenty-Five Year Award in 2008.

Atheneum’s Antecedents

Atheneum is unique in that it’s designed so visitors travel on a specific route through the building that eventually leads out into New Harmony itself. One ramp guides visitors through the three-story building that eventually brings them to the top roof deck, providing amazing views of the town and surrounding countryside. Visitors’ circulation through the building is a continuous experience, highlighting New Harmony’s history through different exhibitions and collections. The most notable feature about the building is the use of light and clean spaces that allow visitors to embrace New Harmony’s historic exhibitions.

Richard Meier

Architect Richard Meier has other notable works, including the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, Spain. Meier is recognized as an abstract architect who employs geometric designs utilizing the color white. Atheneum was Meier’s first large commissioned project, and he certainly made the most of the opportunity, winning multiple awards for his innovative vision. When Atheneum was opened in 1979, it won a Progressive Architecture Award. The structure then won an AIA Honor Award in 1982, and, as noted above, won another prestigious AIA award in 2008.

New Harmony’s Utopian History

The Harmony Society settled in the United States in 1804 and purchased 20,000 acres of land in 1814 near the Wabash River in Indiana. This religious separatist group hailed from Germany and pursued perfection through their daily lives. In 1825, the group sold New Harmony to Rover Owen with hopes to establish a model utopian community where education and social equality could flourish. Sadly, this vision only lasted for about two years before the community dissolved. While the community itself failed, the utopian philosophies were hardcoded in the residents of the area and are alive and well today. Atheneum is open for visitors to explore the grounds and read the town's history. The visitor center is open daily from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, and tours are available starting at 1:00 PM CT Tuesday-Sunday, 3/16 - 10/31. For those interested, ticket prices are:

  • Adults: $15
  • Seniors: $12 (age 60+)
  • Students (age 6-18) and non-USI student (with ID):$5
  • Family ticket: $30
Atheneum
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Real Estate and Architecture: Why Architects Make Great Agents

The worlds of real estate and architecture are not far removed, and they often intertwine. One focuses on sales while the other focuses on design. Architects looking for new career opportunities can find great potential in the real estate business. This move is natural and holds lucrative opportunities for those willing to work for it.

Qualified architects have a broad range of knowledge that can easily be applied to selling a property. Having an eye for detail, strong visual awareness, and an understanding of building materials and structures can put any architect looking to enter the real estate industry on a fast track for success.

With a real estate license, an architect can gain access to home listings while utilizing their diverse network to find potential new clients. Becoming a licensed real estate agent isn’t as hard as one might think — you just need to devote some time and energy to your new craft.

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Enroll in our Pre-Licensing program now to get your career started and begin connecting your fellow residents with the home of their dreams. Or keep going strong with one of our comprehensive, 100% online Continuing Education packages. Want to stay up to date on everything in Indiana? Join the Midwestern Real Estate Facebook Group!

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