Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Historical Wednesday

I don't know about y'all but I'm fascinated with historical homes. I love them! I can't seem to read and learn more about the fantastic dwellings spread across our great nation. Since there are loads of exploration greatness yet for me to research I've decided to do something a little different. I've decided to make Hump Day "Historical Wednesday" and share with all of you the amazing homes I come across.

Today I pick the Governor's Mansion in the Lone Star state. I've driven by it about a million times when I lived in Austin. It's absolutely gorgeous. I couldn't wait to research it's loveliness.

This beautiful home was built in 1854 by Abner Cook. The Governor's Mansion is the oldest house in Texas and the fourth oldest Governor's Mansion in the nation. The oldest executive residence on this side of the Mississippi.The house originally was built with 11 bedrooms and no bathrooms. Can you just imagine living without a bathroom? I believe that God knew I wouldn't survive a day without a bathroom so He created me in the 21st century, LOL.

In the early years, the Republic created many houses to house chief executives. However, they were poorly made and many of them were torn down. In 1842, a "President" house was built in Austin, Texas. It too fell apart but some of the furnishings were saved and placed in the Governor's Mansion.

Texas became a state in 1845. However, it wasn't until 1854 that the Legislature approved $14,500 for the construction of the first Governor's Mansion in Texas. They hired a well known architect by the name of Abner Cook. Texas's fifth Governor, Elisha Marshall, and his family, was the first to reside in the historic home.

In 1914, the mansion was expanded and remolding called for 25 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms. Obviously the Governor's wife sat down with the architect.

The house was designed with a large veranda to help cool the house during those hot Texas summer months. Remember they didn't have fans or A/C back then. The large and narrow windows provide ventilation.

One chilly morning in Austin (January 2008) I flipped on my television for the morning news and in great despair I saw the Governor's Mansion engulfed in flames. My stomach dropped and a sick feeling overwhelmed me as I gazed at the television. The Austin Fire Department did all they could do to save the historic landmark but it received unsustainable damage. Thankfully Governor Perry and his family had moved out of the Mansion during renovations earlier that fall. The police caught on security video a man throwing a bottle lit in gasoline at the 152 year old home. From Sam Houston to Rick Perry this has been considered home to many of our state's governors. It's absolutely insane to think someone had purposely destroyed this historical landmark. As of today no arrests have been made.

Texas First Lady, Anita Perry, has been proactive and working on renovations to the house. Many architects and volunteers have come to her aid. Many Texans have made big and small donations to help fund the renovations. Here is the link if you are interested in learning more about their efforts http://txfgm.org/

1 comment:

cindy said...

HI! UI popped over from midnight macaroons.
I love historical sites. I'm from KY and right now I am reading a book on Appalachia Kentucky. I am fascinated by their ability to be happy with ever they have. In most cases, they have nothing.
I realize this doesn't have anything to do with your post, but, maybe it does.??