July 19, 2012
The governor and first lady, along with the Texas Legislature, committed to preserve and restore the historic mansion, which has served as the official residence for governors and their families since 1856. It is the fourth oldest continuously occupied governor’s residence in the country and the oldest governor’s mansion west of the Mississippi River.
The restoration by Ford, Powell, and Carson was made possible by a $21.5 million appropriation by the Texas Legislature and a private fundraising effort led by Mrs. Perry, which raised more than $3.5 million from thousands of Texans. The governor and first lady thanked the first responders who helped fight the fire and save the structure from total ruin. They also offered praise to the many agencies that collaborated to rebuild the Texas treasure, including the State Preservation Board and the Texas Historical Commission.
The entire mansion underwent a complete restoration, including a new roof, repairs to the exterior masonry, restoration of the columns and porches, renovations to the kitchen, and the installation of a new geoexchange system to provide more energy efficient heating and cooling. Private funds were used to pay for an addition to the west side, restoration of historical features, improved handicap accessibility, and the completion of landscaping and historical documentation.