Riordan Mansion State Historic Park: A Glimpse into Flagstaff’s Gilded Age


Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, located in Flagstaff, Arizona, is a time capsule of the city’s Gilded Age, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the history, architecture, and opulence of the early 20th century. This is one of my absolute favorite places to take visitors!

It was a perfect place to take my college roommates during a girl’s weekend to Flagstaff. My parents absolutely enjoyed the tour as well!

The staff has always been very kind and so knowledgeable about the history of the families. It is a wonderful snapshot, frozen in time!

This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about Riordan Mansion, from its rich history to its architectural significance and visitor experience.

1. Location and History: Nestled in the heart of Flagstaff, Riordan Mansion State Historic Park consists of two historic homes, built for the influential Riordan brothers in 1904. Learn about the Riordan family’s legacy and their role in the development of the region.

2. Architectural Significance: Riordan Mansion is a masterpiece of Arts and Crafts-style architecture, designed by the renowned architect Charles Whittlesey. Explore its striking features, including exposed timbers, stone fireplaces, and intricate woodwork.

Riordan Mansion

3. Guided Tours: Visitors can explore Riordan Mansion through guided tours led by knowledgeable docents. These tours provide insight into the history of the Riordan family, the mansion’s architecture, and the cultural context of the Gilded Age. There are stairs during the tour, but even if you have guests that are unable to go to the second floor, I absolutely recommend the tour. The kitchen is absolutely fascinating!

4. Gardens and Grounds: The mansion is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds, offering a serene atmosphere for leisurely strolls and picnics. The gardens showcase native plants and the historic legacy of the Riordan family’s landscaping efforts.

5. Special Events: Riordan Mansion hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including cultural festivals, holiday celebrations, and educational programs for all ages.

6. Visitor Information: Before planning your visit, check the park’s website for information on operating hours, tour schedules, admission fees, and any upcoming events or exhibitions.

Riordan Mansion State Historic Park is a living testament to the elegance and architectural ingenuity of the Gilded Age. Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a glimpse into the past, a visit promises an enriching and nostalgic experience. Explore the mansion’s opulent rooms, stroll through the tranquil gardens, and immerse yourself in the history of Flagstaff’s early elite. Riordan Mansion invites you to step back in time and discover the cultural heritage of this iconic Arizona landmark.