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“Loved it!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Fairlawn Mansion & Museum

Fairlawn Mansion & Museum
Ranked #3 of 15 things to do in Superior
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Attraction details
Owner description: Built as the family home of mining and lumber baron Martin Pattison, the four story, 42 room mansion was completed in 1890 at the cost of $150,000; estimated at today's costs to be well over $3 million.The exterior and first floor of the mansion have been completely restored to the original splendor,with gilded murals on the ceilings and frieze, a grand entrance hall and open staircase, marble and tile fireplaces, and original leaded and stained glass windows.The second floor of the mansion includes access to master bedroom suite, furnished much as it was during the Pattisons’ time in the house. The third floor is dedicated to the Children’s Home era from 1920 to 1964, when the mansion served as a home to the less fortunate. It also includes the restoration exhibit, featuring documentation of the extensive work performed during the 1999 restoration of the mansion.
Sarona, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Loved it!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2014

What a beautiful mansion! It would be so nice to go back in time and see this bustling with activity!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank farm_gyrl71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Minnesota
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“OK,.. but needs a bit more panache”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2013

To view the house, or the parts that they have had refurbished in period decor is marvelous. The parts that they have dedicated to the history of the orphanage is also quite interesting. However, they need a bit more background done on the history of those that lived in the house. They say that Mrs. Pattison left it as an orphanage, but they never say what happened with her children. A historian doing the tour would have been much more enlightening to those taking it.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Mayomomma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Judith L, Public Relations Manager at Fairlawn Mansion & Museum, responded to this review, 29 August 2013
Mayomomma,

Thank you for taking the time to review your experience at Fairlawn Mansion & Museum. Comments help us to know where we can make improvements to meet and exceed guests' expectations.

As I mentioned in earlier responses, we have undergone a significant change in staffing this year, with many of our well seasoned student tour guides moving on to new opportunities in their lives. Our goal is to rebuild a top-notch staff of tour guides and thanks to your comment, we will remind them to include more of the history of the family - and to repeatedly encourage visitors to ask questions. There is so much information available, trying to cover it all would make the tour far too long.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fairlawn Museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2013

When my children were young when we visited my hometown, I would always bring them to Fairlawn Museum. The house itself is in excellent condition and various interesting exhibits are found through out. Along with this is a gorgeous view of Park Point and Barkers Island.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank WendySOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bryant
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Nice mansion”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2013

This attraction was just across from our hotel. I enjoyed seeing it. It has an interesting history. I did like the Glenshine mansion better but enjoyed this one as well.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Bryantfoxy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Silver City, New Mexico
Level Contributor
52 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“It's not Glensheen”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2013

Tours start on the hour. Don't be late or you'll be left, Our guide was a young student with summer employment. She was a bit off hand with her remarks and did not have a lot of detail in her presentation. Only the first floor is restored. The second and third are awaiting funding, but you can see them. It was not the tour I was expecting.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank The_Schaefers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Judith L, Public Relations Manager at Fairlawn Mansion & Museum, responded to this review, 22 August 2013
Schaefers,

We are truly sorry that your experience was less than expected. With staff changes this summer, we are not unlike the winning ball team whose seniors have all graduated and gone on to better opportunities. Our few seasoned guides are working hard to train and groom our new crop of student tour guides to meet our standards. Along with being an historical site and tourist attraction, we take pride in contributing to the development of young people for the workforce.

It is true that we are not Glensheen, however, we feel that Fairlawn's smaller scale affords an ambiance of more intimacy while accurately depicting the family life of one of Superior's leading citizens at a time when the booming city was nicknamed the Eye of the Northwest. Further, our very affordable tour fee accurately reflects the comparison of the two sites.

In addition, Fairlawn is unique in it's history as being both the palatial home to a wealthy family, and home to more than 2,000 children and young women of need during the 42 years the mansion served as the Superior Children's Home and Refuge. It is interesting to note, that none of the original woodwork, numerous fireplace mantles, tile work, stained glass and leaded windows in the home had to be replaced during the restoration. Despite being a children's home, the mansion's integrity was well preserved.

We at Superior Public Museums feel all of these things make the tour of Fairlawn Mansion an interesting and worthwhile experience, while we continue our efforts to move into further phases of restoration.
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