Tri-Kappa Tour of Homes

Historic Madison Inc.
to open Shrewsbury-Windle House

The late Ann Windle was
an active member of Tri-Kappa

Staff Report

(October 2012) – Tri-Kappa Tour of Homes participants will have a special treat when they gain access to one of America’s greatest 19th century architectural wonders, the 163-year-old Shrewsbury-Windle House, located at 301 W. First St., in Madison, Ind.

Shrewsbury-Windle House

File photo by Don Ward

The Shrewsbury-Windle House is
expected to be a highlight of the
Tri-Kappa Tour of Homes this year.

The former home of Historic Madison Inc. founders John and Ann Windle, both deceased, was deeded to HMI last year and has been renovated for public tours.
The public got a sneak peek at the home last winter during the Nights Before Christmas Tour of Homes.
The house has been on the tour many times in years past because the late Ann Windle was an integral part of the Tri-Kappa Sorority home tour and a sorority member. She died July 30, 2009. John Windle died in February 1987.
For the Tri-Kappa Tour, HMI will open only one upstairs bedroom and also display some of the early Tri-Kappa Tour of Homes programs, which were recently found in the house.
“The Windles entertained guests there over the course of more than 50 years. They would be happy knowing the public will once again enjoy this amazing landmark,” said HMI Executive Director John Staicer.
The property is celebrated by generations of architects and lovers of old buildings for its ornate carved stone work and elaborate iron railings, a spectacular free standing spiral staircase, intricate plaster moldings, 12-foot tall doors and 16-foot high ceilings.
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.
HMI held its Spring Gala at the house last June. Attendees were allowed to tour the house. During the event, Staicer announced that HMI had received a $14,000 grant from the Jeffris Heartland Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for a historic structure report to be conducted on the house. Proceeds from the Gala and silent auction will help raise the money necessary to match the grant. The historic structure report is estimated to cost $28,000.
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.

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