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Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

295 West Ave, Mathews Park, Norwalk, CT 06850-4002
+1 203-838-9799
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Review Highlights
Worth a stop

We were driving from New York to Hartford and stopped here to break up the trip. This 150-year old... read more

Reviewed May 13, 2018
PhoenixRobin
,
Phoenix
A Step Back Into History

We visited at Christmastime to see the annual "Victorian Christmas" exhibits (which we hadn't seen... read more

Reviewed April 29, 2018
George Y
,
Norwalk, Connecticut
Read all 77 reviews
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The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is regarded as one of the earliest and finest surviving Second Empire Style country houses ever built in the United States. The 62-room mansion was built by banker-railroad tycoon LeGrand Lockwood, who in 1864 began construction of his estate on the Norwalk River in Norwalk, Connecticut. Designed by European-trained, New York-based architect Detlef Lienau, the mansion, which was completed in 1868 at a cost of over $2,000,000.00 in 1868 currency, is considered his most significant surviving work. American craftsmen, along with many immigrant artisans, were employed in the construction of the house. Following Mr. Lockwood's financial reversal in 1869 and his untimely death in 1872, his wife, Ann Louisa Benedict Lockwood, lost the house in foreclosure to the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad in 1874. At the time, Mrs. Lockwood owed one remaining mortgage payment of $90,000 - Mr. Lockwood had paid off $310,000 of his mortgage which he took out following the tragic financial disaster of Black Friday in 1869. After remaining unoccupied for two years, the mansion was purchased in 1876 by Charles Drelincourt Mathews, a wealthy provisions merchant who retired at an early age. The purchase price from the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad astonished many. The house, not even a decade old, along with its numerous outbuildings within the 30-acre compound, was sold for a fraction of its value: $90,000.00 - the last payment owed by Mrs. Lockwood. However, much work had to be done in order to occupy the now unfurnished mansion and the grounds, never completed, were commissioned to Fredrick Law Olmstead. Charles and Rebecca had 4 children: Lillie, Florence, Charles Thompson, and Harold. Lillie and Harold both married, had children, and summered at the Mansion; Florence and Charles never married and lived at their townhouse at 812 Fifth Avenue in NYC in the winter or when not traveling throughout Europe. Charles Thompson Mathews, a world-renowned scholar in the field of architecture, won an international competition for the design and construction of the Lady Chapel at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC in 1899. His two books on the subject were used as textbooks at Ivy League schools such as Columbia, Harvard, and Yale. Following his death in 1934, Miss Florence Mathews made Norwalk her full-time residence and passed away in her father's mansion in 1938. The house was first leased and subsequently sold to the City of Norwalk for "park purposes." Years of neglect along with use by City Offices and storage of heavy machinery severely deteriorated the once beautiful home. When the City announced their plans for demolition in the early 1960s in order to build a new City Hall near the mansion, 16 taxpayers, later incorporated into "The Common Interest Group", sued the City of Norwalk and following a lengthy court battle, the Mansion was saved in 1965. In 1971, the Mansion was officially declared a National Historic Landmark. Today, the Museum is being lovingly restored back to its original grandeur by a non-profit organization and is a cultural gem which highlights the lives, styles and technology of the Victorian Era. Tours are offered early April through early January, Wednesday-Sunday. Tours are conducted on the hour at 12, 1, 2, and 3 p.m. Admission: $10 Adults, $8 Seniors, $6 Students 8-18, and Free for Children under the age of 8.
  • Excellent58%
  • Very good35%
  • Average3%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible2%
Travelers talk about
“dark shadows” (6 reviews)
“second floor” (9 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
295 West Ave, Mathews Park, Norwalk, CT 06850-4002
CONTACT
Website
+1 203-838-9799
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"stepford wives"
in 7 reviews
"dark shadows"
in 6 reviews
"second floor"
in 9 reviews
"tour guide"
in 9 reviews
"tv series"
in 2 reviews
"original furnishings"
in 3 reviews
"summer home"
in 2 reviews
"definitely worth the trip"
in 2 reviews
"interesting history"
in 2 reviews
"newport"
in 9 reviews
"filmed"
in 4 reviews
"architect"
in 3 reviews
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"movie"
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1 - 10 of 77 reviews

Reviewed May 13, 2018

We were driving from New York to Hartford and stopped here to break up the trip. This 150-year old mansion sits in the shadow of a freeway. They weren’t very busy the day we were there and are undergoing some renovations to the outside. It...More

Thank PhoenixRobin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2018

We visited at Christmastime to see the annual "Victorian Christmas" exhibits (which we hadn't seen in quite a few years), and we toured the entire house as well. Our tour guide was a retired teacher who took great care to make sure the kids in...More

Thank George Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2018

Took a tour of this historic mansion, had a wonderful guide. Learned a lot about the history of the family and Norwalk, in addition to the traditions of Christmas in the US (as this tour was between Christmas and New Years). House was decorated for...More

Thank Eva C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 25, 2017 via mobile

I walked bu the house on a raining day in April. The antique feeling of the house in the rain gave it a haunting vibe. Do recommend walking inside the house when it’s open (was not open when I walked by in April).

1  Thank lukesawyer985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2017

Wonderful Place to visit and learn about the early beginning of Norwake in 1776 , The Estate of Lockwood Mathews is a Trip in time and most enjoyable , so many wonderful Rooms and Early Bathrooms hidden behind wall also used as HIDE AWAY against...More

Thank goodwillbride
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2017

This was a second stop on our see unusual places in CT tour. The mansion was outstanding. So much history to be absorbed and our guide Charon was up to the task. She explained so many historical anecdotes about both the Lockwood and the Mathews...More

Thank Momma L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2017

Drove up from NJ to spend the day with my friend. We walked the trail nearby and then attended a 90 minute tour. Our guide was very knowledgable and had a great personality. Definitely worth the trip.

Thank mcalvomk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2017

We took the "Witches, Vampires, and Ghost Tours at the Mansion," an event that happens in October. Held at night and you're given small battery-operated candles, walking through the dimly-lit mansion and hearing the ghostly tales, it is FANTASTIC!!! They take small groups at a...More

1  Thank CharismaJ2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2017

Having seen many mansions all over the US and Europe, I can recommend a trip to this mansion without hesitation. It is most elegant and classy, with original floors, ceilings, and furnishings. The mansion was designed and built without outward signs of excessive and overdone...More

2  Thank subeem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2017

The 'Mansion' is definitely a must see when visiting Norwalk. It is famous for its Dark Shadows appearance in the TV series but there is nothing dark about this magnificent mansion. It is a museum in progress and always great to see again and again...More

Thank jmikes33026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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