The Lanier Mansion, the “Crown Jewel” of Madison’s Historic District and a designated National Historic Landmark, is owned and operated by the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites (ISMHS) Corporation. Lanier Mansion is one of the 12 ISMHS statewide locations. This beautiful Greek Revival mansion, designed and built by Madison architect Francis Costigan and completed in 1844, was the home of J.F.D. Lanier until he moved to New York City in 1851. Lanier’s contribution to Indiana’s banking and railroad industries made him one of the most important figures in the history of this state before the Civil War.
The mansion contains Madison’s most impressive public collection of early nineteenth century furniture. Most of the interior was redecorated with authentic reproduction carpeting, wallpaper, and textiles all evocative of the mid-nineteenth century. Most of this work is made possible through the work of ISMHS Staff and the contribution of private donors.
Experience Christmas decorations in the Lanier Mansion the way you have never seen before. One room will remain historically accurate to the 1840s Christmas. Learn about antebellum Christmas traditions, including how they decorated their homes. See the “Santa Claus Letter,” an artifact found in a Lanier fireplace that was written by a Lanier child in the 19th century.