Texas Governor's Mansion

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 during 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 damaged badly by an arson fire started with a Molotov cocktail.


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, during 1962. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as "Governor's Mansion" during 1970, and further was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark during 1974.

Original Architecture

Built by Abner Cook in a Greek Revival style and completed during 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 during 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.

2008 fire

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 out during October 2007 for a $10 million major deferred maintenance project that began during January 2008. The project was to include a fire suppression system. State Fire Marshal Paul Maldonado said the next Sunday that investigators have 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 Minneapolis during September 2008. An official close to the investigation said agents determined the fire was a criminal act "after reviewing footage from security cameras." A restoration is currently being performed, but is not expected to be done until 2012.


During May 2009, $22 million was allocated to the restoration 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. The restoration area, which includes the mansion and the adjacent segment of Colorado street, has been closed from the public with a chain-link fence and barbed wire, and is currently monitored by state troopers at all times.

Building Activity

  • Kiril Pavlov
    Kiril Pavlov activity.buildings_person.create
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com