MANSION RESTORATION PROJECT CONTINUES.
February 2013 The major construction on the Mansion Restoration Project is finished. Friends of the Governor's Mansion worked with the State Preservation Board to return the historic collections to the Mansion during the summer. The Docents of the Governor's Mansion provided invaluable volunteer assistance with the collection installation. FGM continues conservation work on some objects. Caring for these antique furnishings is an ongoing process, managed by FGM with private funds. Colorado Street in front of the Governor's Mansion is accessible by pedestrians and bicycles, and work is planned for the parking lot on the east side of Colorado Street. The renovation of the Mansion grounds is very functional and lovely. FGM is proud to have contributed to refurbishing the gardens. Mansion exterior photo by Jane Karotkin, Friends of the Governor's Mansion. Other photos courtsey of the State Preservation Board.
THE MANSION WILL HAVE A NEW GEOTHERMAL HEATING SYSTEM.
This Geothermal drilling truck is digging more than 40 wells on the Mansion grounds. The new ground source heat pump system, replacing equipment lost because of the fire, will contribute to the energy efficiency of the building's heating and cooling. Each well is 350 feet deep.
COLUMN RESTORATION COMPLETED IN SUMMER OF 2011
The magnificent columns, which are original to the 1856 Mansion building, were stripped of lead paint and charred areas removed. Workers removed debris from inside the columns. The capitols were removed, disassembeled, cleaned and repaired before replacement on the columns. Priming and painting were the final steps of the process.
HISTORIC PORCH RAILING RECREATED ON MANSION FRONT.
The distinctive X-and-Stick design of the porch railing was a style used by Abner Cook on many of the houses he built in Austin in the 1850s. Although few sections survived the intense fire which began on the front porch, the railing was well documented, making it easy to replicate. In many areas of the Mansion, woodwork not terribly damaged by the fire was salvaged for reuse and to serve as templates for replacement sections.
THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION SOUTHEAST CORNER ON 7-2-2008
This photo, taken 25 days after the fire, shows the columns on the front of the Mansion with banding around them to prevent splitting. These hollow wood columns filled with water from the fire hoses, causing the wood to swell and split. Fortunately, the water drained quickly and the columns are holding together well enough for eventual restoration. Most of the porch railing, a distinctive architectural detail of the 1856 building, did not survive the fire.