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1841 the Laniers

In the early 1840’s Francis Costigan, a well known and highly respected architect, drew up the plans for and had constructed for James F. D. Lanier a home of brilliant design and immense beauty. Located on West First Street, the home’s exterior and grounds are breath-taking in their splendor and scope. Inside, one is caught by the soaring, spiral staircase which seems to float upwards to the elevated ceilings, which are blessed with a design which is both ornate and pleasing to the eye. Large rooms beckon one to enter and relive the days of culture and antebellum grace that once held sway in this splendid home.

Completed in 1844, the home was the social center for Madison. Situated on a slight rise overlooking the Ohio River it presents a pleasing view from all angels. The south portico invites one to pause and enjoy the view, much as the original owners must have in years gone by. Then there would have been a vista of steamboats and a busy levee filled with exotic cargo from around the world. Today one sees the mighty river in a more serene, but still lovely, setting.

The home has been preserved as a State Museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes. This outstanding example of the Greek Revival style stands today as a monument to Costigan, the architect and Lanier, one of the visionaries of the City of Madison.