Illinois Governor’s Mansion Restoration
As part of the Illinois Bicentennial celebration, First Lady Diana Rauner unveiled the newly renovated Illinois Governor’s Mansion to the public on July 14th, 2018. The mansion successfully underwent a $15 Million renovation that was funded entirely by private donors.
The Illinois Executive Mansion has been home to Illinois governors and their families since 1855. It is the third oldest continuously occupied governor’s mansion in the United States and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Over the years, Illinois governors have hosted U.S. presidents, ambassadors, and – most importantly – generations of Illinois residents at the “People’s House.”
“As a state historical site, the mansion provides a tremendous opportunity for visitors to experience Illinois’ rich history in a beautiful setting where history comes alive,” stated First Lady Diana Rauner. “The restoration includes a renewed visitor’s center; historic exhibits; reimagined public spaces that will showcase Illinois’ fine and decorative arts; and revitalization of the facade, landscaping, and interior spaces to present a symbol of the state of which all Illinoisans can be proud.”
Space on the ground floor of the mansion will serve as an orientation and education center that will promote Illinois leaders and milestones, situating state history within important national events. Public spaces on the first floor will also retain their primary purpose as event and gathering spaces that will be enhanced by new rotating exhibits of fine and decorative arts by Illinois artists.
Period bedroom suites on the second floor will highlight the Civil War Period of the 1860’s and the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.
Rebuilding the original features of the facade – including the front porch, entry doors, and cornice – will restore the elegance and proportions of the original Italianate building. Structural repairs will ensure that the building is vital well into the state’s third century, and life safety repairs will ensure that the building is accessible to all.