Upon its completion in 1849, Charles Shrewsbury?s Greek Revival-style home in Madison defined antebellum elegance, with high-ceilinged rooms, decorative columns, and floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of the Ohio River. Architect Francis Costigan displayed his genius in the Shrewsbury home?s crowning feature: a freestanding spiral staircase ascending from the front foyer up through the entire height of the house. It was a showplace built for entertaining. In the 1940s, Chicago residents John and Ann Windle became acquainted with the charming river town while visiting a relative who worked at nearby Hanover College. But it wasn’t until a real estate agent introduced them to the Shrewsbury House in 1948 that they decided to leave Chicago, buy the house and begin restoring it for their home and antiques business. Over the ensuing decades, the Windles became a driving force for historic preservation, founding Historic Madison in 1960, and convincing locals and visitors to recognize the city’s architecture as its key economic asset. In envisioning a new future for the Shrewsbury-Windle Home more than 150 years later, Historic Madison, Inc. is returning the home to its gathering-place roots by turning it into an events venue. The group’s four-year transformation of the National Historic Landmark earned Indiana Landmarks’ 2019 Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration in April 2019. Indiana Landmarks and Storytelling Arts of Indiana, with generous support from Frank and Katrina Basile, developed the If These Walls Could Tell series in 2011 to honor the winners of the Cook Cup Award. These original stories inspired by historical Indiana buildings are about the people who have built, lived, worked, gathered and restored these vintage places. More details on this story will be available at StorytellingArts.org in January 2020.
If These Walls Could Tell
1201 Central Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46202