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.
The Lanier Mansion is graciously decorated by, Madison residents, businesses, Friends of Lanier Mansion and other supporters. See the letter written to Santa Claus by Margaret W. Cravens in 1888, great- granddaughter of JFD Lanier.