Governor's Mansion State Historic Park

Coordinates: 38°34′48″N 121°29′05″W / 38.58000°N 121.48472°W / 38.58000; -121.48472
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California Governor's Mansion
Governor's Mansion State Historic Park - exterior 1 (cropped).JPG
Location1526 H St, Sacramento, California
Coordinates38°34′48″N 121°29′05″W / 38.58000°N 121.48472°W / 38.58000; -121.48472
ArchitectNathaniel D. Goodell
Architectural styleSecond Empire-Italianate
NRHP reference No.70000139 [1]
CHISL No.823[2]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 10, 1970
Designated CHISLAugust 10, 1974

The California Governor's Mansion is the official residence of the governor of California, located in Sacramento, the capital of California. Built in 1877, the estate was purchased by the Californian government in 1903 and has served as the executive residence for 14 governors. The mansion was occupied by governors between 1903–1967 and 2015–2019. Since 1967, the mansion has been managed by California State Parks as the Governor's Mansion State Historic Park.


A depiction of the mansion in 1880.
The Governor's Mansion in 1907.

The thirty-room, three-story Second Empire-Italianate Victorian mansion was built in 1877 for local hardware merchant Albert Gallatin, who sold it to businessman Joseph Steffens, the father of journalist Lincoln Steffens, in 1887. In 1903, the State of California purchased the house to serve as the governor's mansion.[3][4]

Many furnishings remain from former governors, including Pardee's 1902 Steinway piano, velvet chairs, and sofas belonging to Governor Hiram Johnson, and Persian rugs bought by the wife of Earl Warren.

State park[edit]

In 1967, ownership of the mansion was transferred from the Governor of California to California State Parks, establishing the Governor's Mansion California State Historic Park. Governor Reagan lived in the mansion for a few months while making arrangements for his own residence. He leased a home in East Sacramento's "Fabulous 40s" neighborhood at 1341 45th Street.[5] Reagan set a precedent that was adopted by all subsequent California governors until 2015.

In 1970, the mansion was designated as a "historic house museum" and opened to the public.[6]

From 1974 to 1975, during Reagan's tenure, a new executive mansion was constructed in the Casa de los Gobernadores neighborhood of Carmichael, a suburb of Sacramento. Reagan never resided in the mansion, as it was completed after his tenure as governor ended, and the mansion was subsequently sold by Reagan's successor, Jerry Brown. Brown, during his first two terms as governor from 1975 to 1983, lived in a sparsely-furnished two-bedroom apartment at the Dean Apartments at 1400 N St.[7]

A drawing room in the mansion.

Governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, and Gray Davis all lived in different Carmichael residences. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordinarily commuted each day by private plane from his home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. When he would need to stay in Sacramento overnight, he would take a hotel suite at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento which is across the street from the California State Capitol.[8]

When Brown became governor again in 2011, he opted to live in a 1,450-square-foot (135 m2) downtown loft.[9]

In July 2012, the Governor's Mansion was one of 70 California State Parks proposed for closure as part of a deficit reduction program.[10] Previously, it was also one of several state parks threatened with closure in 2008. These threatened closures were ultimately avoided by cutting hours and maintenance system-wide.[11]

Renewed executive residence[edit]

In 2015, the mansion once again became the official residence of the governor of California as well as being a museum, when Governor Jerry Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, moved into the governor's mansion after it underwent $4.1 million in renovations to update electrical and plumbing systems, as well as to remove lead-based paint and install a fire sprinkler system and other security features.[12][13]

In 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom and his family lived briefly in the mansion before taking up residence in a house purchased in the Sacramento suburb of Fair Oaks.[13][14][15]

Stanford Mansion[edit]

The Leland Stanford Mansion is also used by the Governor of California for official purposes, including the reception of foreign dignitaries.

The Leland Stanford Mansion, the former residence of Leland Stanford (8th Governor of California and founder of Stanford University), serves as the official reception house for the Californian government. It is often used by the governor for official receptions of foreign dignitaries and for ceremonial purposes.[16]

The Stanford Mansion also hosts an official office and working space for the governor.

Casa de los Gobernadores mansion[edit]

During 1974–1975, a new Governor's Mansion was built at 2300 California Avenue in the Casa de los Gobernadores neighborhood of Carmichael, a Sacramento suburb.(38°36′20″N 121°19′17″W / 38.60556°N 121.32139°W / 38.60556; -121.32139) It was a one-story, hacienda-style, 11,984 square foot single-family home, 17 rooms with 8 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. It is built on an 11.3-acre parcel that has a view of the American River; the parcel was donated by friends of Governor Reagan.[7]

Reagan never resided in this new governor's mansion as it was completed after his term ended. Jerry Brown, who succeeded Reagan, refused to live in the mansion.[7] In 1982, the erstwhile governor's mansion was sold by the state. It is now a private residence with no connection to the California state government.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "California (CA), Sacramento County: California State Capitol". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 20, 2010. Archived from the original on November 13, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  2. ^ "Governor's Mansion". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  3. ^ "The Historic Governor's Mansion of California". California State Parks. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  4. ^ "Guide to the Governor's Mansion State Historic Park Photographic Collection". Online Archive of California. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  5. ^ Lundquist, Ryan (September 17, 2012). "Where Ronald Reagan lived (and almost lived) in Sacramento". Lundquist Appraisal Company. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  6. ^ Creamer, Anita (November 4, 2013). "California's historic governor's mansion reopens with flair". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved December 2, 2010. The third floor of the California governor's mansion reopens to the public. . .after being closed to visitors for decades
  7. ^ a b c "Remembering Carmichael's "Taj Mahal" executive mansion". Valley Community Newspapers, Inc. June 28, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  8. ^ Halper, Evan; Rothfeld, Michael (March 7, 2008). "This puts your commute to shame". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 1, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  9. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (December 22, 2010). "Jerry Brown chooses a trendy loft near the Capitol". The Los Angeles 2300 California Ave. Times. Archived from the original on January 23, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  10. ^ "State Parks Announces Closures" (PDF) (Press release). California State Parks. May 13, 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  11. ^ McGreevy, Patrick; Sahagun, Louis (September 26, 2009). "State parks to stay open, but with cuts in hours, staffing". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Archived from the original on December 30, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  12. ^ Adler, Ben (December 17, 2015). "First Family Moves Into California Governor's Mansion". Capital Public Radio. Archived from the original on December 21, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Goldmacher, Shane (December 22, 2010). "Gov. Gavin Newsom and family to pass on the governor's mansion, head to Sacramento suburbs". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  14. ^ "California governor skips historic mansion for suburban home". Associated Press. January 18, 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  15. ^ Bollag, Sophia (January 17, 2019). "Gavin Newsom's family plans move to $3.7 million Fair Oaks mansion". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  16. ^ "Leland Stanford Mansion SHP". California Department of Parks and Recreation. November 3, 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2014.

Further reading[edit]

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