Texas Governor's Mansion now fully restored after fire

Marilyn Tennissen Jul. 24, 2012, 5:52am

Texas First Lady Anita Perry gives members of the media a tour of the fully restored 156-year-old Texas Governor's Mansion in Austin.

The Texas Governor's Mansion, a 156-year-old residence, has been fully restored following a maintenance project and a devastating fire.

In October 2007, the mansion underwent deferred maintenance to replace plumbing and electrical systems, install indoor fire sprinklers and improve handicap accessibility.

Then in the early morning hours of June 8, 2008, an unidentified arsonist threw a Molotov cocktail on the front porch causing catastrophic damage.

The governor and first lady, along with the Texas Legislature, committed to preserve and restore the historic mansion, which has served as the official residence for governors and their families since 1856. It is the fourth oldest continuously occupied governor's residence in the country and the oldest governor's mansion west of the Mississippi River.

The restoration was made possible by a $21.5 million appropriation by the Texas Legislature and a private fundraising effort led by Anita Perry, which raised more than $3.5 million from thousands of Texans.

The entire mansion underwent a complete restoration, including a new roof, repairs to the exterior masonry, restoration of the columns and porches, renovations to the kitchen, and the installation of a new geoexchange system to provide more energy efficient heating and cooling.

Private funds were used to pay for an addition to the west side, restoration of historical features, improved handicap accessibility, and the completion of landscaping and historical documentation.

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