(Mar. 4, 1810-Apr 18,1865). A native of Washington, D.C., Francis Costigan studied to be a builder and an architect in Philadelphia and Baltimore. After moving to Madison, Indiana, he designed many homes in that city, including the Lanier Mansion (1844).

The James F. D. Lanier residence, shown ca. 1865, was designed by Francis Costigan.
Credit: Indiana Historical Society

When Madison entered a period of economic decline in the 1850s, Costigan moved to Indianapolis. He designed the former Odd Fellows Building on the northeast corner of Washington and Meridian streets, the Indiana School For The Blind, located on land that later became part of the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza, and the Oriental House Hotel at 121-125 South Illinois Street (later part of the Hotel Oxford). For a brief time, he was the proprietor of the Oriental House. He built but did not design the old Post Office on the corner of Pennsylvania and Market streets (1858).

Costigan employed a diversity of building styles, often using unusual and elaborate ornamentation. The Andrew Wallace Residence at 601 Fletcher Avenue, constructed in 1866 after his death, is the only building believed to have been designed by Costigan still standing in Indianapolis. Costigan died of consumption and was buried in Greenlawn Cemetery; his remains were later moved to CROWN HILL CEMETERY.

Francis Costigan designed the first Indiana School for the Blind (1847) located on the north end of what would become the World War Memorial Plaza.
Credit: Bass Photo Co Collection, Indiana Historical Society
Revised July 2021

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