Texas Governor's Mansion

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Governor's Mansion
Texas governors mansion.jpg
The Texas Governor's Mansion during 2006.
Location 1010 Colorado St., Austin, Texas, USA
Coordinates 30°16′21.72″N 97°44′34.79″W / 30.2727000°N 97.7429972°W / 30.2727000; -97.7429972Coordinates: 30°16′21.72″N 97°44′34.79″W / 30.2727000°N 97.7429972°W / 30.2727000; -97.7429972
Built 1855
Architect Abner Cook
Architectural style Greek Revival
Governing body State of Texas,
Office of the Governor
NRHP Reference # 70000896
Significant dates
Added to NRHP August 25, 1970[1]
Designated NHL December 2, 1974[2]

The Texas Governor's Mansion, also known simply as Governor's Mansion is a historic home for the Governor of Texas in downtown Austin, Texas. It was built in 1854, designed by prominent architect Abner Cook, and has been the home of every governor since 1856.

On June 8, 2008, while midway through a major renovation, the mansion was badly damaged by an arson fire started with a Molotov cocktail. Governor Rick Perry and First Lady Anita Thigpen Perry are the 39th family to live in the Texas Governor's Mansion and Perry is the 40th governor to live in the mansion full time.

History[edit]

The mansion is the oldest continuously inhabited house in Texas and fourth oldest governor's mansion in the United States that has been continuously occupied by a chief executive. The mansion was the first-designated Texas historic landmark, in 1962.[3] It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as "Governor's Mansion" in 1970, and further was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1974.[2][3]

Original Architecture[edit]

Built by Abner Cook in a Greek Revival style and completed in 1856, the building occupies the center of a block and is surrounded by trees and gardens. The original mansion was 6,000 square feet (560 m2). Remodeling in 1914 increased the size of the mansion to 8,920 square feet (829 m2). The original mansion had 11 rooms but no bathrooms. The remodeling brought the room count to 25 rooms and 7 bathrooms. In 1931, at the recommendation of former Texas First Lady Mildred Paxton Moody, the Forty-second Texas Legislature established the Board of Mansion Supervisors to oversee all interior and exterior upkeep and enhancements to the mansion. Mrs. Moody was the first head of the Board, which was abolished in 1965.[4]

2008 fire[edit]

The mansion was partially destroyed by a four-alarm fire during the early morning of June 8, 2008. Current Texas Governor Rick Perry and his wife Anita Thigpen Perry were in Europe at the time of the fire. They had relocated in October 2007 for a $10 million major deferred maintenance project that began in January 2008. The project was to include a fire suppression system.[5] State Fire Marshal Paul Maldonado said the next Sunday that investigators had evidence that an arsonist targeted the 152-year-old building.

On February 2, 2011, Chief Tony Leal, an assistant director of the Texas Rangers, announced that a person of interest has been identified that is connected to an Austin-based anarchist group which has also been linked to an attack (involving Molotov cocktails) which was planned for the Republican National Convention in St. Paul during September 2008.[6] No one has ever been charged and there has never been any evidence linking anarchist involvement to date. An official close to the investigation said agents determined the fire was a criminal act "after reviewing footage from security cameras." To date the crime has gone unclaimed. A restoration was begun, with a scheduled completion in 2012.[7] The Perrys moved back into the Governor's Mansion on July 18, 2012.

Restoration[edit]

In May 2009, $22 million was allocated to the restoration of the Governor's Mansion, $11 million of which came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. An additional $3.4 million has been raised through private fund raising.[8] The restoration area, which includes the mansion and the adjacent segment of Colorado Street, has been closed to the public with a chain-link fence and barbed wire, and is currently monitored by state troopers in plain-clothes with unmarked cars at all times.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Governor's Mansion (Austin)". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  3. ^ a b Chambers, Allen (August 14, 1974). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: The Governor's Mansion PDF (32 KB). National Park Service.  and Accompanying three photos, exterior and interior, from 1966 and 1975 PDF (32 KB)
  4. ^ "Board of Mansion Supervisors". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Governor's Mansion burns; arson possible". Austin News KXAN.com. 2008-06-08. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  6. ^ "DPS Identifies Persons of Interest in Mansion Fire". The Texas Tribune texastribune.org. 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  7. ^ Hoppe, Christy, and Emily Ramshaw (2008-06-08). "Fire marshal says Texas Governor's Mansion blaze appears deliberate". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  8. ^ http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/05/22/0522mansion.html

References[edit]

  • "The Texas Governor's Mansion," The Magazine Antiques, July 2006.

External links[edit]