Madison Inc. gets grant
for Shrewsbury-Windle Home
rehabilitate future touring museum
Helen E. McKinney
(August 2011) While John and Ann Windle were
still alive, they took extremely good care of their home. The couples
will deeded their home to Historic Madison Inc., which has in turn has
received grant money to implement a preservation plan for maintaining
the circa 1840s Greek Revival style home.
photo by Don Ward
Madison Inc. plans to turn
the Shrewsbury-Windle Home in Madison
into a touring museum home.
Upkeep of this property is important to some individuals
in Madison. A $5,000 grant recently was awarded to HMI from the National
Trust for Historic Preservation.
Long term goals include preservation and rehabilitation of the
home and opening it up to the public, said HMI President John
Staicer. We need to put together a preservation plan first.
Such a plan would provide short and long-term preservation goals and
maintenance costs. This plan is the first step towards assessing the
home, its mechanical systems and grounds, in order to calculate needed
repair costs and maintenance priorities.
The home, located at 301 W. Second St., represents Madison at
the height of its wealth and industrial prominence in the 1840s and
1850s, said Staicer. It was designed by one of the states
best architect, Francis Costigan, and named in part for its first owner,
riverboat Capt. Charles Lewis Shrewsbury, and the Windles.
In 1994, the property was listed as a National Historic Landmark, a
designation awarded by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. There are
fewer than 2,500 such landmarks in the country.
HMI will apply for more funding at some point in the future, Staicer
said. The grant that was awarded is a matching grant, meaning that HMI
has to come up with $5,000 for a total of $10,000 to construct a preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded the grant from
its Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation. This fund fosters
appreciation of Americas diverse cultural heritage while preserving
and revitalizing the nations communities. These grants range from
$2,500 to $10,000 and are awarded annually to non-profit groups and
Genell Scheurell, Senior Program Officer for the National Trust for
Historic Preservation for the Midwest Offices, said, These grants
are intensely competitive. This was the only project awarded a grant
in our eight state region. The Midwest Region covers Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Basically, the grant is designed for planning grants, she
said. It is intended to be seed grant money to get a project going.
Our intent is to get a project launched. The Shrewsbury-Windle
House is a very special project. Were please to be able
to be a part of it.
The grant money will pay for architectural services and engineers, and
a landscape professional to look at the property and devise a plan for
its future. All of these findings will go into the preservation plan.
Ratio Architects, based in Indianapolis, was chosen to construct the
plan. The firm offers services in architecture, preservation, landscape
architecture and interior design.
Historic Madison Inc. is known as an exceptional organization,
said Scheurell. They do this type of work very well.
John Galvin was president of HMI for 28 years. During his tenure, HMI
completed such projects as St. Michael the Archangel Church and the
Schroeder Saddletree Factory. He said the Shrewsbury-Windle House is
important to the community and it will be a great challenge
to preserve it as a house and museum.
Galvin is also executor of the Windles will, which is still in
estate. But once it has been settled, the property will be transferred
to HMI and the grant money implemented. HMI will then be able to make
improvements as suggested, which will open the door to getting grants
for major rehabilitation projects, Galvin said.
Although there is no definite timeline for this project, Staicer estimated
the preservation plan will probably be completed by this fall.
Because of the unique, specialized architectural style of the home,
the materials needed to make repairs are no longer available or
hard to come by, Staicer said. It contains a free-standing spiral
staircase, black Egyptian marble trimmed fireplaces, Corinthian columns,
gas light fixtures that were electrified in the early 20th century and
original Shrewsbury family portraits painted before the Civil War. The
exterior of the home contains ornate iron fencing and balconies and
herringbone-pattern brick sidewalks and garden paths.
When the Windles lived there it was used as their home, an antique store
and a museum, said Staicer. It was open to the public from 1948 when
the couple moved to Madison from Chicago, until 2006 when Mrs. Windle
became too ill to run a business or receive guests. Her husband died
in 1987 and she passed away on July 30, 2009.
The Windles were antique collectors and the home contains some pieces
original to the time period when it was constructed. Were going
to try to get it back into shape for continued use as a museum property,
Staicer said. The couple also founded the non-profit HMI in 1960.
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