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“Spectacular Staircase!”
Review of Lanier Mansion

Lanier Mansion
Ranked #1 of 28 things to do in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Tour this sprawling home on the Ohio River, the site of a heroic story that's still impacting Indiana today, and one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the Midwest. This location is part of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, a statewide museum system with 12 locations.
Reviewed 27 November 2016

We had been to Madison over a dozen times, and had walked through the grounds of the Lanier Mansion on several of our visits - but had not previously taken the time to tour the inside of the house... I am glad we finally did!

We visited as part of a "Nights before Christmas" Holiday home tour on Thanksgiving Weekend - and the Mansion tour was included with 9 other homes and historic stops you could visit during afternoon and evening hours...

The Mansion was decorated for Christmas during the visit of course and this was festive and interesting - as the guide explained several customs and decorations from the mid 1800's when the Lanier Family lived in the home.

My favorite parts of the tour however were:

2. The magnificent native wood furniture pieces, wardrobes, buffets, tables, chairs, 4 poster beds - all beautiful pieces of art and craftsmanship!

1. The incredible architecture! This building was designed by a local Madison architect named Francis Costigan - an architectural genius of the time - you can visit several other buildings nearby he had a hand in as well - including his very quirky and interesting home over on the north side of town we had visited on a tour back in the summer time.

The curving, 3 story spiral staircase in the center of the mansion heading up to a crowning skylight down is awe-inspiring and beautiful - a masterpiece of architectural vision and execution - to think that this was built with the technology of 175 years ago boggles my mind!

I thought it was interesting and curious the senior Mr. Lanier and his family only lived in this house for about 7 years before hightailing it for New York City?? The tour guides were kind of vague about the reason for the move - some of the Lanier sons and later generations resided in the Mansion until the early 1900's - it has been a museum for several decades now - and an interesting one at that - well worth a few dollars and a couple of hours for a tour of the place.

3  Thank Jeffrey W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"spiral staircase"
in 14 reviews
"across the street"
in 15 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 14 reviews
"nice tour"
in 8 reviews
"visitor's center"
in 10 reviews
"the kitchen"
in 6 reviews
"behind the scenes"
in 5 reviews
"ohio river"
in 21 reviews
"greek revival architecture"
in 4 reviews
"period furniture"
in 4 reviews
"at noon"
in 3 reviews
"civil war"
in 8 reviews
"indiana state museum"
in 2 reviews
"crown jewel"
in 2 reviews
"answered all of our questions"
in 2 reviews
"tour starts"
in 2 reviews
"back in the day"
in 2 reviews

53 - 57 of 202 reviews

Reviewed 27 November 2016

We enjoyed the tour of the Lanier mansion. Amazing two feet deep interior walls - wow. The curving staircase is quite magnificent. The curved door under the staircase was interesting, too. The tour was very informative. Mr. Lanier was responsible for loaning money to Indiana to outfit troops during the civil war. He was also a major investor in Indiana's first railroad. We first toured the mansion back in the 90's. This last trip in November 2016 we were able to see the third floor which was plainer than the other floors and the ceilings were shorter - the tall men on the tour had to stoop over to prevent hitting their heads on the third floor ceiling.

3  Thank LittlestarDeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2016

This was a pleasant and interesting glimpse into the past, but I'd wished we could have also seen the kitchen and servant quarters that were under renovation.

3  Thank katiew995
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2016

This is a beautiful home. From the outside, it appears to be a two-story house, however, the stairway will lead you to a third floor. The tour guide was very informative. The rooms were beautifully restored. I want to return when the servants quarters are completed.

3  Thank clark957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 October 2016

This was a nice tour and a beautiful preserved building. It has remained in pristine shape forever. We purchased tickets at the visitor center across the street, $10 for adults, $5 for under 17 yr. We received almost a private tour. My family and one other couple. Very knowledgeable guide. He took his time and answered all our questions. My advice is to stop here and take the tour. You will learn so much about Lanier and what he did for Indiana, it is quite startling. The house is nice size and the tour takes about 40 minutes and I think well worth it. You will learn about the area with is surprising as well. A very nice stop.

3  Thank Beezhjack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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