The Perfect Touch

Greves' home among gems
on Tri-Kappa Tour of Homes

By Ruth Wright
Staff Writer

MADISON, Ind. – (October 2002) The Tri Kappa Tour of Homes, scheduled for Oct. 18-20, will showcase eight private Madison residences.
“Our tour this year offers something for everyone,” said Shannon Dattilo, co-chairman of the event.
Included in the tour this year is the home of Ron and Evangeline (“Vangie”) Greves, located at 718 W. Main St. The Greek Revival style dwelling was built in 1837-38 for Madison industrialist Jacob Shuh. Although the architect is unknown, many of the home’s design elements are similar to that of the Lanier Mansion, which was designed by architect Francis Costigan.

Greves home

Ron & Evangeline Greves' home

The similarities between the two homes lead some to conclude that the Greves’ home was also designed by Costigan. The home has changed ownership several times over the past 165 years and has served as the residence for many prominent citizens in Madison’s history, including dry goods merchant Charles L. Holstein, Dr. Robert W. Cochran, and Dr. Schuyler A. Whitsitt.
The Greves purchased the home at auction in 1981. The previous owner, George A. Leininger, Jr., had started restoring the home. The Greves took over where Leininger left off and have modernized the home’s plumbing and wiring and have made a vast number of cosmetic improvements.
Vangie Greves did most of the interior decorating herself. “I tried to keep it light and cheery,” she explained of her home’s eclectic decor. The Greves have also tried to preserve the home’s historical integrity by maintaining the original woodwork where possible and matching all improvements to the original style.
Other than a small addition in the back of the home, they have made no major structural changes. They did strip the brick on the outside, which had been painted by a previous resident.
The first floor of the home features an entry hall with a double parlor to the left and a formal dining room to the right, a full bath, a sitting room, a kitchen with an informal dining area and a small enclosed porch off the back. Original ceiling medallions frame the lights that hang in the entry hall, formal dining room, and double parlor. The full bath features a stained glass window designed by Vangie Greves.
The second floor of the home features three bedrooms, a laundry room, two full baths and a sitting room. The master bath features a corner garden tub.
Although some of the improvements, such as the modern kitchen, belie the home’s age, peculiar features such as the 13-foot ceilings, the narrow “clothes press” closets and the steep “maid steps” off the kitchen reveal the home’s history. Visitors to the home can expect a charming residence that blends stylish decor with the beauty of the past.
Advance tickets for the tour are $12 adults and $5 for children ages 2-10. To order, call the tourism office at 1-800-559-2956 or visit: www.trikappatourofhomes.com.
On tour weekend, tickets can be purchased at tour headquarters at the Madison Presbyterian Church, 202 Broadway, for $15 adults, $6 children. Tickets are good for the entire weekend. Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Tri Kappa Sorority is an Indiana organization for women established in 1901 to further the goals of scholarship, culture and charity. All proceeds from the Tour of Homes will go toward scholarships and philanthropic projects of Tri Kappa Sorority.

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