Missourians will once again be welcomed to their Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City [ Photos ].
Governor Blunt, First Lady Melanie Blunt and Missouri Mansion Preservation Executive Director Mary Pat Abele cut a red ribbon Monday to re-open the mansion after a six-month, $3 million renovation. The most visible aspect of the renovation is the restoration of the mansard roof to its original geometric design with new slate.
Visibility is also greater in the mansion. New, double-pane windows replace old, dingy windows that obscured the view of the outdoors. Those old windows also leaked air and moisture, which contributed to deterioration within the mansion. Window sashes have been replaced. Window frames have been restored.
Restoration of the mansion came within budget and within the timeframe allotted. Abele with Missouri Mansion Preservation called it "phenomenal" that the work crews completed restoration in six months, despite a couple of unpleasant discoveries. Workers found that the sun porch has come loose from the mansion. It had to be re-attached. Workers also discovered lead-based paint and asbestos, which prompted an immediate evacuation of the mansion so the material could be cleaned up. The mansion had to undergo inspections to insure it was safe to once again be inhabited.
Abele said the mansion has never undergone such a thorough renovation at one time. The legislature appropriated the $3 million dollars after hearing pleas from Abele and others that one of the true historic gems of the state has lapsed into disrepair. Abele said the exterior was last pained in 1989. She said moisture had done critical damage to the mansion and she worried that it would deteriorate beyond the point of repair.
Missouri Mansion Preservation contributed by doing some interior work, but more restoration is needed. A capital campaign is continuing to complete restoration of the Governor’s Mansion, which was built in 1871.