The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987 Page: 436
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
appointed a committee to study the needs of the Mansion and to make
recommendations. The committee decided in favor of preserving the
123-year-old building, and the legislature backed its decision by appro-
priating $1,ooo,ooo to renovate the historic structure. Additional pri-
vate funding was raised by the Friends of the Governor's Mansion to
support the restoration and to form a collection of museum-quality,
nineteenth-century American and Texas furnishings and works of art
to complement and enhance the Mansion. The restoration project was
completed in the spring of 1982, and the Texas Governor's Mansion-
restored inside and out for the first time in its history-was reopened
to the public on April 14, 1982.
Since the completion of the restoration project, Friends of the Gover-
nor's Mansion has continued its commitment to maintain and preserve
the historical and cultural significance of the Texas Governor's Mansion
and its contents. Among the organization's educational projects has
been the publication of this book, a well-written, informative, and lav-
ishly illustrated guide to the Texas Governor's Mansion as historic struc-
ture, architectural landmark, and official residence of Texas governors
and their families.
The Governor's Mansion of Texas is divided into three parts. The first,
"A Tour of the Mansion," gives a room-by-room description of the pub-
lic rooms in the Mansion, including a brief history of each room and
identification of important furnishings. This written tour is enhanced
by more than one hundred color photographs of the rooms, selected
furnishings, and grounds. "The Restoration" provides an overview of
the three-year renovation project to bring new life to the Mansion.
Practical changes as well as aesthetic alterations and additions are de-
scribed. We learn, for example, that the Mansion's nine fireplaces were
restored (three are wood burning, six coal burning) and that a nation-
wide search was necessary to acquire enough edge-grained, seasoned
pine boards to restore the original south entrance. Drawings of the first
and second floors graphically illustrate the Mansion's changing struc-
ture and floor plans from 1856 to 1982. In the concluding section,
experts Joe B. Frantz, Drury Blakely Alexander, Audray Bateman
Randle, and Jack Maguire place the Mansion in perspective with essays
and historical photographs on its history, architecture, grounds, and
The Governor's Mansion of Texas: A Historic Tour is a welcome addition
to the growing body of literature on this important and historic struc-
ture. Students of the Mansion will find that its focus on the Mansion's
restoration and current splendor make it just the right complement to
The Texas Governor's Mansion: A History of the House and Its Occupants
(1984), by Jean Houston Daniel, Price Daniel, and Dorothy Blodgett.
The University of Texas at Austin KATHERINE J. ADAMS
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 90, July 1986 - April, 1987, periodical, 1986/1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117152/m1/502/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.