The Governor’s mansion has just undergone a renovation that cost Arkansas $817,000. The Georgian Colonial mansion has been under renovation for the past two years, supported by a $1.1 million grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council.
The grant was funded through two increases in the real estate transfer tax, one increase in 1987 and another increase in 1993. The Council first granted funds in 1989, and the Governor’s Mansion received $5.8 million for renovations and expansions then as reported by the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette.
In addition, funds for renovations have been generated by the Governor’s Mansion Association. The Governor’s Mansion Association is a nonprofit dedicated to raising private funds for restoration and preservation of the mansion, often through ticketed events and private memberships.
The Governor’s Mansion sits on 8.5 acres of land, which Governor Asa and the First Lady stated they would like to preserve for generations to come.
“There was urgency expressed for some of the needed repairs that involved code violations or that impacted public safety, so the Council felt that it was important to address these so that the Mansion, which receives visitors every day, could best represent the State of Arkansas,” Melissa Whitfield, communications director for the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
Renovations include a new fireplace in the library, chandeliers and sconces for the Grand Hall, and new sculptures for the garden. In addition, electrical, plumbing, and heating have been updated throughout the property.