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Coming Out Party

Historic Madison Inc. celebrates Shrewsbury-Windle House work

Community reception held to show off
house’s renovation


(July 2018) – The Board of Directors of Historic Madison Inc. showed off the recently completed $2.5 million renovation of the Shrewsbury-Windle House, marking the occasion with a Grand Rededication reception on Saturday, June 23. John and Ann Windle, who founded HMI in 1960 in the home, last lived in the house. In 2011 the estate of Ann Windle deeded the property to HMI to maintain it as a “historically correct example of architecture for the cultural enrichment of people.”
Dozens of guests toured the house at 301 W. First St. and its famous freestanding spiral staircase and drawing rooms.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Shrewsbury-Windle House and also help upgrade the Hyatt House and garden and establish a new welcome center for all the HMI-owned properties, said Margaret Seifert-Russell, who chaired the fundraising committee. She said the committee is only $42,000 sort of its goal.

Photo by Don Ward

Guests tour the Shrewsbury-Windle House and view its freestanding spiral staircase during the Grand Rededication reception held June 23 in Madison, Ind. Historic Madison Inc. recently completed the five-year-long renovation.

The festivities on June 23 included self-guided tours of the house, live music, a silent auction, an art sale and a rededication program, including the reading of a proclamation from Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announcing that day as Shrewsbury-Windle House National Historic Land-mark Day in the state of Indiana in honor of the restoration.
The house will not be a touring museum but rather used for special events, weddings and receptions, according to HMI Executive Director John Staicer. He said more than 120 donors contributed to the project.
“It just shows there is lots of love for this house, and I hope the love is evident in the restoration,” Staicer said.
Stacier and his wife, Maureen, and HMI staff members greeted guests. Later, Staicer and board chair Molly Dodge introduced several speakers, including Paul Steinbrecher, a Chicago architect and cousin of Ann Windle, and Marsh Davis, president of the state preservation organization Indiana Landmarks, based in Indianapolis.
Steinbrecher said he met the Windles in 1968 and made more than 75 trips to visit them over the years.
He said it was fitting that the house will be used for functions rather than as a touring home. “We don’t’ need more house museums. This is a house that has always been used and will continue to be used in the future. It is a testament to lives well lived.”
Davis added, “HMI has raised the bar with this restoration. They are honoring the legacy of John and Ann Windle and exceeding the legacy with this extraordinary work.”
The house, designed by Indiana’s leading early 19th century architect Francis Costigan and completed in 1849, is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a masterpiece of Greek Revival architecture. The Drawing Rooms are among the best preserved examples of pre-Civil War interior design in the United States, with rare original paint and varnish finishes, restored original gas light fixtures (now electrified), a reproduction carpet and original furniture, family oil portraits and much more.
The home’s 53-step spiral staircase is an architectural and engineering marvel. Its massive 12-foot-tall entry doors are unrivaled in the country.
The home was lovingly cared for between 1849 and 2009 by the Shrewsbury and Wyatt families, the Walker family and by the Windles. Soon after taking possession of the home in 2011 from Ann Windle’s estate, HMI shortly thereafter completed an extensive 600-plus page report to guide the restoration inside and out, from rooftop to cellar, including all new mechanical systems. In 2015 a $2.5 million capital campaign to support this work and rehabilitate an adjacent historic building for HMI’s new office space was announced. The June 23 event celebrates the completion of the first and major goal of this plan.
More than 120 donors from across the United States have pledged $2,458,033 to the campaign. Campaign pledges and contributions are still being accepted.

Photo by Don Ward

Historic Madison Inc. Executive Director John Staicer speaks at the reception.

The house will once again be used for events and educational programs. The property will be available for group tours of 10 or more by advance reservation of at least two weeks. Use of the property and the grounds for appropriately scaled special events and programs will begin in the near future.
HMI is a not-for-profit historic preservation organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Madison’s architectural heritage. HMI is pleased to acknowledge the following sponsors of the Shrewsbury-Windle House Grand Rededication: Title Sponsor: Morgan Foods Inc; Diamond Sponsors: Ratio Architects, Repp & Mundt Inc., General Contractors; Platinum Sponsors: Goelzer Investment Management, German American Bank Wealth Advisory Group; Gold Sponsors: Assured Partners, the Kellems Family, First Financial Bank, Midwest Mainte-nance Inc., Nading Mechanical Inc, and The Engineering Collaborative.

• For more information about HMI, call (812) 265-2967 or email: hmi@historicmadisoninc.com.

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