"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Texas Governor's Mansion Almost Complete After Arson Fire

What started out as a long needed renovation project in October 2007 took on new meaning when an arsonist set fire to the front portico in June 2008 that did massive damage.  Not long after the arsonist’s attack, First Lady Anita Perry established the Texas Governor’s Mansion Restoration Fund, a non-profit organization whose goal was to raise funds to totally renovate the Mansion after the fire.  The legislature contributed millions to the effort as well.  Now the move back into the Mansion is under way!

As you can tell by this picture, the damage to the Mansion by arson was extensive.  Fortunately all the valuable items from the Mansion had been moved into storage with the renovation under way.   There was no one in residence at the time of the arson fire as the Perry's had already moved out for the renovation.

Governor and Mrs. Perry will be moving back into the Governor's Mansion near the end of July.  The Governor's Mansion stands as a proud symbol of the Great State of Texas.

Historic Furnishings Begin Move Back to Governor’s Mansion as Project Nears Completion
Wednesday, June 20, 2012Austin, Texas

As the massive restoration of the Texas Governor's Mansion nears completion, pieces from the historic Governor's Mansion Collection are being moved back into the home. Owned and curated by the non-profit Friends of the Governor's Mansion, the collection was removed when the deferred maintenance project started in October 2007. The return of the collection marks the first stage of the move phase of the Governor's Mansion restoration. The first family is expected to move back into the Governor's Mansion, the home of 40 Texas governors, when the project is completed late next month. "The historic Texas Governor's Mansion has been a symbol of Texas pride and resilience for decades, and now as its restoration nears completion, we enter a new chapter in its history," Texas First Lady Anita Perry said. "Returning these important pieces to their rightful place in the Governor's Mansion brings us one step closer to completing the restoration of this Texas treasure, which is one of the cornerstones of our state's rich heritage."

The Governor's Mansion Collection is composed of historic state-owned pieces that have been in the Governor's Mansion and museum-quality American antiques dating back to the earliest years of the state's history, including the bed used by Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin's writing desk and portraits of Gov. and Mrs. Pease, who was in office when the Governor's Mansion was built in 1856. The collection also includes the Governors' Memento Collection, a tradition started in the l960s by Texas First Lady Jean Houston Daniel. Additionally, last week, historic large chandeliers were installed throughout the first floor.

What began as a deferred maintenance project of the Governor's Mansion in October 2007 became a major restoration effort following a massive fire set by an unidentified arsonist in June 2008. The restoration has been made possible by nearly $3.5 million in private donations and a $21.5 million appropriation by the Texas Legislature.

No arrest has been made in the arson case at this time. The Texas Department of Public Safety has offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the arsonist. Anyone with information related to the Texas Governor's Mansion arson is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 252-TIPS (8477) or the State Fire Marshal's Arson Hotline at (988) 252-8477.

For more information about the status of the Governor's Mansion Restoration, please contact the State Preservation Board at (512) 463-5495.

Read more about the Texas Governor's Mansion.

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