Released August 9, 2023

Tour Will Explore Madison’s Historic Homes

MADISON, Ind. (Aug. 8, 2023) — Towering columns and ornate moldings of gleaming white; expansive windows that overlook manicured gardens; stately interiors filled with opulent furnishings — these are among the trademarks of Greek Revival architecture.

Visitors have the unique opportunity to explore three of Madison’s premier Greek Revival homes during the Odyssey of Architecture: Greek Revival Styles in Madison. Hosted in partnership by Historic Madison, Inc., and the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, the event will take place from 6:30-9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24. Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children under age 18. Members of Historic Madison Inc. or the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites will receive a 25 percent discount. Tickets will be available until Aug. 17 through Eventbrite.

building column architectureGreek Revival style, which emulated the architecture of ancient temples, was popular throughout the United States from the 1830s to the 1860s when many people sought to celebrate connections to Greece — the birthplace of democracy. The construction style, which hit its peak in Indiana prior to the Civil War, grew so prolific it eventually became known as the national style. Though the Midwest has lost many of its once notable structures, Madison remains a hub for iconic Greek Revival buildings.

During the Odyssey of Architecture walking tour, guides will highlight defining characteristics of the homes’ classic architectural style and share stories of their architect and owners.

The tour will begin at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site (601 W. First St.), which is considered the “crown jewel” of Madison’s Historic District. Situated on the banks of the Ohio River, with that picturesque view from the magnificent south portico, the mansion is one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the country. It has also earned a stand-alone listing alongside the historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

Commissioned by banking and railroad magnate James F. D. Lanier, who was one of Madison’s pioneers, the Lanier Mansion was the first major work by acclaimed Indiana architect Francis Costigan. The other two homes on the tour were designed by Costigan, as well.

The next stop for tour guests will be the Costigan House. Though smaller in scale than the other locations, the signature design elements in the architect’s own home are just as impactful.

The Odyssey of Architecture will conclude, and light refreshments will be served, at the award-winning Shrewsbury-Windle House. Built for Charles and Ellen Shrewsbury, the home is also a National Historic Landmark. Among its remarkable features, the Shrewsbury-Windle House includes a freestanding spiral staircase that sets it apart from many other homes of the time.

All three historic locations are ADA-accessible on the first floors only.

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The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is a statewide museum system with 12 locations, offering visitors a chance to engage with Indiana’s past and present and see how their actions help shape the future. At each location, visitors are invited to explore big questions and create lasting experiences that will resonate long after each visit ends. Whether interested in art or architecture, history or science, there’s something for everyone and every interest. The Indianapolis museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The historic sites are located statewide, stretching from Rome City in northeastern Indiana to Evansville in the southwest.

Historic Madison, Inc., a not-for-profit historic preservation organization, has played a key role in the preservation, restoration, education, and development of Madison’s National Historic Landmark District. The organization owns and operates 11 historic properties with the help of countless volunteers.