Tour Stop

Shrewsbury-Windle House
to open for a special
‘sneak peek’ tour

The 19th-century treasure
to be a Christmas treat

Staff Report

One of America’s greatest 19th century architectural wonders, the Shrewsbury-Windle House, was recently deeded to Historic Madison Inc. preservation organization by the estate of Ann S. Windle. The home, formerly the residence and antique gallery of the late John and Ann Windle, will be preserved and re-opened to the public as a museum, HMI officials said.
To celebrate this early Christmas present with the community, HMI will offer a special “sneak peek” of the home to ticket holders of the annual Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes at no extra cost. Availability of the Shrewsbury-Windle House for this special offering may vary from the Candlelight Tour schedule Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3.

Shrewsbury House

Photo courtesy of HMI

The home of Historic Madison Inc.
founders John and Ann Windle will
be open to the public during special
hours for ticket holders of the
Nights of Christmas Candlelight.
Tour of Home on Dec. 2-3.

“Historic Madison Inc. is pleased to make this wonderful building available to the public once again,” said John Staicer, HMI’s president. “Ann and John Windle entertained thousands of guests at the Shrewsbury-Windle House over the course of more than 50 years. They would be happy knowing the public will once again enjoy this amazing landmark.”
The house was built in 1846-1849 for Capt. Charles L. Shrewsbury and his family. It was designed in the Classic Revival style by Francis Costigan, Indiana’s most distinguished pre-Civil War architect and master builder. Costigan designed a number of other Madison buildings, including the state-owned J.F.D. Lanier Mansion and the Francis Costigan House, located on Third Street and now an HMI house museum.
The Shrewsbury-Windle House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994 by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as one of the most important architectural treasures in America.
The Windles bought the home and moved from Chicago in 1948 to save it from being turned into a rooming house. The Windles lived in it and operated it as an antiques gallery, opening it to the public from the late 1940s until 2005. They founded HMI in the Shrewsbury-Windle House in 1960 to preserve Madison’s outstanding nationally significant architecture.
As the not-for-profit organization’s first president, John Windle oversaw a wide range of property acquisitions and activities to bring attention to, and assist in the preservation of, Madison’s large and nationally significant collection of 19th architectural gems. Madison’s historic district includes more than 1,600 19th and early 20th century buildings including a vibrant commercial core, residential neighborhoods, churches, school buildings and even industrial structures.
During the Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour, six rooms of the Shrewsbury-Windle House, plus the first and second floor halls with its spiral staircase will be available for viewing. Rooms included are the elegant drawing rooms on the first floor and the Windle Decorative Arts Collection rooms and two bedrooms on the second floor. 

• For tickets and information about the Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes, call VisitMadison Inc. at (812) 265-2956 or visit: www.visitmadison.org. For more information about the Shrewsbury-Windle House, contact HMI at 500 West St., Madison or call (812) 265-2967.

Back to December 2011 Articles.



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