Before 1950, Arkansas had never had an official residence for its governor.
In 1947, Act 257 of the Arkansas General Assembly established a Governor's Mansion Commission with an appropriation of $100,000.00. The site was the former location of the Arkansas School for the Blind, which had moved to new quarters near the city's Pulaski Heights neighborhood. The architects were Frank J. Ginocchio, Jr. and Edwin B. Cromwell.
The architectural style of the mansion is Georgian Revival, colonial type. The main material of the exterior is brick. Construction began in December 1947 (incorporating 300,000 bricks from the original School for the Blind structures), and the Governor's Residence became operational officially on January 10, 1950. The first Governor to reside here was Sidney S. McMath, who moved in on February 3, 1950. Significant additions to the mansion were completed during the administration of Michael Huckabee.