Rediscovered Mies Now Open
22. February 2022
Photo © Hadley Fruits, courtesy of the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, Indiana University
A rediscovered 1952 design by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for a fraternity house on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University has been completed, adapted as new facilities for the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design.
We first learned about the project last summer, when construction photographs were released for the 10,000-square-foot facility that is named for Sidney Eskenazi, a former member of the fraternity that commissioned Mies more than a half-century earlier. In 2013, Eskenazi alerted Indiana University president Michael A. McRobbie to the abandoned project — one so unknown that Mies's grandson, Dirk Lohan, did not know about it until he was contacted by the school about their willingness to finally realize the design.
A $20 million gift to IU from Eskenazi and his wife, Lois, in 2019 led to the construction of the Mies fraternity-cum-architecture school. The adaptation, which stays very true to the original but has been updated for various code and functional needs, was carried out by New York's Thomas Phifer and Partners, which is also designing the university's new Ferguson International Center under construction across the street. The $10 million two-story building recently opened for the spring 2022 semester — exactly seventy years after Mies first developed the design.