Mansion Master Plan
envisions future historical campus
and street improvements
part of projects phase one
(May 2010) Lanier Mansion State Historic House,
the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Jefferson County
Heritage Center could all one day be part of a historical campus if
funding becomes available for a new Master Plan for developing the properties.
Lanier Mansion State Historic
Home, the Madison Area Visitors
Bureau and Convention Center,
the Lanier Mansion Gift Shop and
the Jefferson County Historical
Society Heritage Center could all one
day become part of a historical
complex if funding is approved for
30-year master plan.
The 30-year, three-phase, multimillion dollar plan includes
everything from sewer upgrades and street improvements to an expanded
events area in the Visitors Center that would include a small catering
The Master Plan is a road map for improvements and to determine
priorities, said Laura Minzes, deputy director of historic site
properties for Indianas Department of Natural Resources. Weve
had all of these great ideas floating around but were not able to prioritize
them until now.
In February, DNR officials held an open house at the Lanier Mansion,
601 W. First St., to solicit public input on a plan for developing the
property there. Minzes said representatives from organizations, officials,
and various groups were brought in and given a chance to discuss some
of those ideas.
Phase one doesnt have the wow factor that some
of the other phases do, said Minzes. However, many of the
projects in this phase are necessary to move on. Items from different
phases could move up depending on funding, she noted.
This plan is very feasible, particularly in a public and private
type of partnership with the Lanier Mansion Foundation, she said.
Not only do we want the Lanier Mansion to become even more of
a landmark than it is, we want to increase tourism in Madison and use
this plan as a complement to the economic development of the city as
The Lanier Mansion is the 1844 Greek Revival Home of James F. D. Lanier.
It was designed by famed architect Francis Costigan. It is located in
the citys National Historic Landmark District and is considered
one of the central pieces in the prestigious designation.
Gerry Reilly, site manager of the Lanier Mansion, said phase one of
the project would take approximately 10 years and would include exterior,
utility, drainage and site improvements. A new storage facility for
the mansion will also be added.
The phase calls for a recreation of the former High Street, which used
to run in front of the mansion. The street would not be for vehicles,
said Reilly. It would help give a visual on how the original site
used to look but could also be used for horse and carriages.
Other road improvements, if approved by the city, would include a traffic
narrowing on Vine Street and other work on the streets surrounding the
We eventually want to have a unified look to the area and create
a historical campus, said Reilly.
The projected budget for the Mansion Block of the Master Plan totals
more than $5 million, while the Kendall Block, which includes the Lanier
Mansion Gift Shop and Madison Visitors Center, would total a little
more than $7 million.
I think the long term plans are great, said Linda Lytle,
executive director of Madisons CVB.
Currently, the Lanier Mansion is undergoing a restoration project that
will return the East Wing to its original look. It should be finished
by late spring or early summer, said Reilly.
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