Riordan Mansion

Historic Building Fact Sheet

riordan mansion historic building

The historic Riordan Mansion is preserved by the Arizona State Parks system. (Oct. 2010) Photo credit: Steven Luscher

Need to Know Info

Address409 W Riordan Rd
Flagstaff, AZ
Coordinates35°11′15″N 111°39′35″W
Date Added to NRHPFebruary 28, 1979

The Riordan Mansion in Flagstaff, Arizona stands as one of the best remaining examples of American Arts and Crafts-style architecture open to the public. Constructed in 1904 by the Riordan brothers for their influential territorial families, the mansion utilized modern amenities and was designed by the famous architect of the El Tovar Hotel.

Now protected as a state historic park, the Riordan Mansion provides a unique glimpse into the lifestyles of these families who played a vital role in developing Flagstaff and the region through dedicated volunteers and tours.

In-Depth Story

The Riordan Mansion: An American Arts and Crafts Treasure

Tucked away in Flagstaff, Arizona sits the Riordan Mansion, one of the finest remaining examples of American Arts and Crafts architecture open to the public. This historic home reflects the lifestyle of two influential families who helped shape Flagstaff and Northern Arizona in the early 20th century.

In 1904, brothers Timothy and Michael Riordan constructed this mansion to house both of their families. The Riordans moved to Flagstaff in the 1880s and built up the most successful lumber company in the region, the Arizona Lumber and Timber Company. They advocated for progressive improvements in Flagstaff, such as new educational facilities like the Normal School that became Northern Arizona University. The Riordans also brought in scientific institutions like Lowell Observatory that still operate today.

For their mansion, the brothers hired architect Charles Whittlesey, known for his work on the El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon. The 13,000 square foot duplex featured two matching 6,000 square foot wings, one for each family, connected by a large common room. The homes utilized modern conveniences of the time like indoor plumbing, electricity, and central heating.

The interior of the mansion remains substantially unaltered from its origins in 1904. All of the original furnishings belonging to the families are still in place, including fine examples of Stickley furniture. The home provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of these prominent territorial families who contributed so much to their community.

For over 50 years, the Riordan families resided in this mansion until it was finally acquired by Arizona State Parks in 1978. After extensive planning, the park opened partially in 1983 and fully in 2002 for self-guided tours. Budget cuts nearly forced the closure of the site in 2010, but dedicated volunteers kept the mansion open through fundraising and community support.

Today, the Riordan Mansion still stands as a testament to the Arts and Crafts movement in the western United States. This historic park protects not just an architectural treasure, but the legacy of two families who played a vital role in the early development of Flagstaff and northern Arizona. The mansion remains a unique time capsule of life at the turn of the 20th century in the American Southwest.

NRHP Reference #: Unknown