June 14, 2019
As one of the original 13 colonies, Connecticut is filled with remnants of early America’s history. From the apartments for rent in Norwalk, CT, you’re only a short distance away from the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion.
This site retains an interesting history and is continually being restored to its former beauty. If you’re planning a visit, here’s everything you need to know.
A Rich History
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion story begins in 1861 when LeGrand Lockwood sponsored Fireworks on the Green, a Fourth of July celebration at his summer home in the area. That same year, he decided to outfit and financially aid the local volunteer infantry in crime prevention.
Thanks to his generous donations, LeGrand was elected as the Treasurer of the New York Stock Exchange in 1862. While he only served a one-year term, he remained a member of the NYSE for the rest of his life.
As the 1860s continued, LeGrand would expand the acreage of his estate as he developed what would become the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion. Renowned architects, designers, and gardeners were hires to make the estate as beautiful as possible. During this time, he also funded railroad expansion in the area.
By 1868, the Lockwood family moved into the now-finished mansion. Unfortunately, they only enjoyed the high life for another year. The financial panic of 1969’s Black Friday would force Lockwood & Co., the family’s brokerage house, into bankruptcy.
While LeGrand was able to reopen Lockwood & Co., over $10 million worth of stock and the mortgage for the mansion was transferred to companies under Cornelius Vanderbilt’s control. Heading into the 1870s, the family continued to enjoy the estate until Legrand’s passing in 1872.
Despite selling off LeGrand’s art collection, the family’s financial burdens became too much. Piece by piece, their properties were foreclosed or sold by Vanderbilt. The mansion was bought for $100,000 by Charles Drelincourt Mathews in 1876.
The Mathews Era to Modern Day
The Mathews family continued to live in the mansion until 1939, when they left the estate and the building to the City of Norwalk as a public park. From 1940 until 1963, the estate would suffer a series of demolitions, damage from flooding, and misuse as a storage space for the city until the Common interest Group of Norwalk (CIG) banded together to save the land and its buildings for use as a public park.
CIG sued the city of Norwalk, winning and gaining fund to restore the house to its former glory. The now-titled Lockwood-Mathews Mansion opened to the public in 1967, fully restored and turned into a historical site as well as a public park.
Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, the CIG and City of Norwalk worked together to rebuild parts of the mansion like the music room, card room, and conservatory. Restoration continues to this day, making the house picture perfect to its 1860’s pictures while adding electrical and other components for the public.
Visiting the Museum
Today, you can walk the grounds and attend various exhibits and events held on the property. The mansion also hosts weddings alongside corporate and private events. If you’re planning a trip, check out the events page to find something that peaks your interest.
One of the more popular events is the Open House, which allows visitors to explore parts of the mansion as well as the grounds as they learn about the history behind the estate. Themed galas, flea markets, and art exhibits are also held on the property.
Holiday events, like the Halloween Tour and Holiday Open House, continue to attract visitors from across the country. The majority of these happenings require tickets to attend or a membership, which you can inquire about on the website.
Exhibitions center around art styles and historic times. A few to be held this year include:
- Historic and Modern Gardens
- Victorian Women Trailblazers
- The Art of Railways and Stations
- and the mansion’s Holiday Exhibit.
If you find an exhibit that interests you, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion website can help you plan your visit. Both exhibitions and events are held from early April through January, often starting with tours at noon and staying open until 5 or 8 p.m. depending on the event.
Each event has its own price, but tour costs are listed on the website. There are several non-guided tour times to choose from, which cost $5. Guided tours cost $10 for 45 minutes and $20 for 90 minutes, with reduced pricing for seniors and students.
Anyone under the age of eight is allowed in for free, as are members. Veterans and active duty military personnel receive a 50% price reduction. Holiday tours cost $15 with the same savings across the board.
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion hosts several events for students throughout the year. School tours, young writers’ competitions, and high school internships are all available. Visit the websites page titled “Education” for more information.
Apartments for Rent in Norwalk, CT
Much like the Lockwood Mansion set a new standard of elevated living in the 1860s, The Waypointe redefines luxury for an unmatched living experience in Norwalk. Contemporary designs blend expertly with elements of Connecticut’s timeless sophistication, allowing you to enjoy the finer things in life like never before.
Step inside to experience luxe bathrooms, spacious closets, and abundant natural lighting. Quartz countertops are accentuated by stainless steel appliances and modern cabinetry. Wood-style flooring leads to private balconies and patios. Full size washers and dryers, cathedral ceilings, and modern finishes create an envious appeal.
The community at The Waypointe features a plethora of on-site amenities that cater to every facet of life. Stay active in the fitness center or cardio and strength center studios, relax by the heated saltwater pool with sundeck or the rooftop terraces, and treat your pooch to a walk in the landscaped dog park. Billiards, game, and cinema rooms help you unwind and mingle, while concierge services and package acceptance take care of life’s smaller details.
With a central location to Norwalk’s premier dining and shopping experiences, everything is right at your fingertips. Experience a destination like no other. Experience The Waypointe