Lanier Mansion State Historic Site

About Lanier Mansion State Historic Site

Lanier Mansion is one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the country and is considered to be the "Crown Jewel" of Madison’s Historic District. Designed by architect Francis Costigan, the mansion exhibits many original Greek Revival features including 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, and the Ionic columns that separate the double parlors on the first floor. Careful interior restoration and redecoration have recaptured the Mansion’s 19th century splendor. During the 1990s, the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Museums and Historic Sites, with major funding provided by the Lanier Mansion Foundation, restored the building and grounds to their former grandeur. On the interior, horsehair brushes were used to paint the walls and decorative plaster moldings which were then covered with a high gloss varnish as they were in 1844. Curators and other staff continue to research furnishes from the period and changes to reflect their research. Lanier Mansion became a National Historic Landmark in 1994.