Candlelight Tour of Homes

Cincinnati couple
remodels Steinhardt home

Home had been scheduled for tour

By Ruth Wright
Contributing Writer

MADISON, Ind. (November 2003) – The shiny hardwood floors of the home located at 1120 Michigan Rd. in Madison may look brand new, but appearances can be deceiving. Recently refinished by a Cincinnati company that specializes in hardwood basketball courts for the NBA, the cross-cut oak floors are original to the 163-year-old home.

Steinhardt house

Photos by Ruth Wright

The former Steinhardt house.

Known locally as the Steinhardt house, the residence is currently being renovated under the direction of owners Doni and Terry Flanigan. The couple had hoped to have the home listed on the Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes. The tour is scheduled for Nov. 28-30 and Dec. 5-7 and sponsored annually by the Madison Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
An Indiana native whose professional portfolio includes celebrity clients such as Rodney Dangerfield, Kirstie Alley and Oscar de la Hoya, Doni Flanigan has been an interior designer for 25 years. His work has been featured on numerous home design programs on popular networks, such as Home and Garden Television, The Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel.
Flanigan commutes frequently between Los Angeles, where his business is based, and Cincinnati, where the couple have a home with their four daughters. Terry Flanigan is involved in her husband’s business and enjoys doing some decorating of her own. “She’s got an eye for what looks good,” Flanigan said.

Doni and Terry Flanigan
Doni and Terry Flanigan.

Although Terry Flanigan has decorated other homes, the Steinhardt house is mostly her husband’s project. Doni Flanigan discovered the 4,800-square-foot home in a real estate book he picked up in Cincinnati. He purchased it for $250,000. It had been empty for 11 years, he said, and had been on the real estate market for three years when he found it.
“I literally couldn’t sleep at night,” Flanigan recalled about discovering the Greek Revival style residence. “Greek revival is one of my favorite studies.”
Flanigan has put to use his professional design skills to dramatically transform the hilltop house he purchased this year. On the ceiling of the 48x25-foot ballroom, which features double fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling columns, he has painted an ethereal looking sky. Along with the 14-feet ceilings, it lends the room an open and airy feel.
Flanigan used silver and gold leaf to embellish some interior fixtures, including the decorative fleur-de-lis caps of the ballroom columns and the top of the winding stair rail.
He has also painted on the walls of each room a distinct finish: an Italianate pattern in the entryway, a diamond pattern in the living room, and a stenciled French floral in the dining room. The soft-colored paints that Flanigan chose were donated by Pratt & Lambert. The paint company plans to document Flanigan’s work and use it as a promotion for their paints, Flanigan said.
On the second floor, Flanigan has painted the two matching children’s suites a small bedroom. The third floor is comprised of a widow’s peak, which will be fitted with a door that will act as a type of skylight.
Other interior projects remain to be tackled. The kitchen, which hasn’t been updated for many years, will be totally gutted. And a master suite, complete with a private bath and walk-in closet, is planned for the back section of the first floor. A bathroom on the landing between the first and second floors will be partially remodeled; the antique fixtures will remain.
The exterior of the home, formerly white, has been painted a soft gold. The huge wooden front door, original to the home, will soon be painted a deep burgundy.
Future outdoor projects include the addition in the front and on the side of the house and ornate iron gates divided by 28-feet columns, each topped with a lantern. Huge maple trees on the deep front lawn will be up-lit, Flanigan said, along with 20 white birch trees that will be planted on either side of the house. A cobblestone driveway will curve in front of the house. The remainder of the four-acre property will feature a professional tennis court, an English garden, an Italianate gazebo and a pond.
Beside his own home, Flanigan is working in California with notable architect Tony Shai. He has at least three years worth of work with the architect, he said, but would like to eventually concentrate on historic properties and perhaps spend more time in Madison.
In addition to the Flanigan’s home, also included in this year’s tour are: the home of Burke and Marci Jones at 917 W. Second St.; the historic Marx House B&B at 610-612 W. Third St.; the Lanier-Dunn-Hough Home at 302 Elm St.; the Friedersdorff House at 512 E. Main; the Heritage Center at 615 W. First St.; the Francis Costigan House, a Historic Madison Inc. property at 408 W. Third St.; Trinity United Methodist Church on Broadway across from the Broadway Fountain; the Lanier-Schofield House at 217 W. Second St.; and the Lanier Mansion at 511 W. First St.

• Tickets for adults are $12 before Nov. 10; $15 after. Tickets for children ages 5-15 are $5. For more information, call the tourism bureau at (812) 265-2956 or 1-800-559-2956. Or visit: www.nightsbeforechristmas.com.



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