|Rensselaer is a small, typical Midwestern city with a population just under 6,000, located in Jasper County in northwest Indiana. While the area is a mere hour from Chicago and its outlying suburbs, this county seat-town is situated in the eastern edge of the prairies and flat-tilled lands that continue across Illinois west to the Mississippi River. Jasper County is sparsely populated outside of Rensselaer and a few other smaller villages, and with the exception of some small industry, the population's primary source of income is related to agriculture. A small Catholic-based liberal arts college with an enrollment of 1,200 students is immediately south of the city and has become one of the community's leading employers. During the late 1940s and into the 1960s, the people of Rensselaer embraced the modern movement of architecture in a way not found in many similar Hoosier communities. This resulted in a concentration of excellent examples of the Modern style constructed among the city's traditional-styled buildings, an anomaly for an agricultural-based, small Midwestern city. Modernism, in various ways, became the language of new, post-war investment in Rensselaer. It gave the city's major institution a new image, guided the design of its first post-war suburban neighborhoods, and put a modest but unmistakable mark on its downtown.