Greek Revival Lanier Mansion finished in 1844

Madison, Indiana is known for it many historic buildings, including some of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture preserved in the country. The Lanier Mansion was the home of James Franklin Doughty Lanier, a banker, railroad developer and Clerk of the Indiana General Assembly. The south face of the home faces the Ohio River, and is considered the “front door” to the mansion.

The Ohio River is behind the camera

Spiral staircase in the mansion. Photo courtesy Ind. State Museum

From an Indiana State Museum website: Francis Costigan designed the mansion with many Greek Revival features. These include its square plan, the full façade porch on the south elevation, the Corinthian columns on the south portico, the Doric pilasters that appear on several locations on the exterior, the massive exterior entablature and dentilated cornice, the ornamental anthemia, the ornamental pediments over the windows and doors, and the Ionic columns that separate the double parlors on the first floor.

West side of the mansion, Ohio River to the right

The Lanier Mansion was designed by renowned architect Frank Costigan, with the project completed in 1844. It is now part of the Indiana State Museum system as an official Historic Site. It has been referred to as the Crown Jewel of the Madison Historic District, and provides insight into the life and times of the 1840’s Indiana along the Ohio River.


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