Built in 1856, it's the oldest continuously occupied executive residence west of the Mississippi.
What better time to see a stunning Greek Revival home than when it's all decorated for Christmas? A significant renovation was undertaken after an arsonist set fire to the building in 2008. Fortunately, the residence was unoccupied at the time and art and furnishings were in storage due to a maintenance project.
Looking gorgeous now.
Looking gorgeous now.
Bright color surrounds the front door.
We were here with a group of 20 to tour the downstairs public spaces. The Governor and family live upstairs.
Just inside the front door hangs this famous painting "Crockett's Last Stand". The guide told us it was inexplicably lost for a few years in the 1930s even though it was in all our Texas history schoolbooks.
The legislature in 1856 approved $15,000 for furnishings which didn't go very far way out here on the frontier. Over the years Governors and generous donors have furnished the public rooms in beautiful style.
Colorful orange and gold decorations in the front parlor complement green walls.
Virgin of Guadalupe ornaments show the influence of Texas First Lady and San Antonio native Cecelia Abbott.
While we did not meet Governor Abbott on this visit, we did meet him when he visited the Warrior and Family Support Center and gardens where Melody and I volunteer each week.
The furniture is exquisite throughout.
Across the hall are two formal rooms decorated for the holidays.
Front porch swing typical of Texas casual style.
We like stars in Texas and they're a natural for Christmas decorations.
Among the generous donors of furnishings was Ima Hogg, a well-known antique collector and former resident when her father was governor of Texas from 1890 to 1895. "Miss Ima", as she was known most of her life, also acquired furniture for the White House. I see the connection in these rooms.
Typical for this part of Texas, the tree is the only real greenery. It's just impossible to keep real evergreen garlands fresh in warm temperatures and bright sunlight.
Stars and Texas flags complete the theme.
Memories from past governors.
Wonderful photo op--matching fireplaces and garland on each end of the room.
A beribboned paper flower crown for the corner tree.
Each of our 41 governors have given a memento to be displayed in cabinets throughout the first floor.
Our fellow tour goers reflecting on memories of Governors past.
Flags of six nations have flown over Texas as depicted in the carpet.
A creche graces the main hall.
The Mansion is just across the street from the southwest corner of the Texas State Capitol grounds with a great view of the pink dome.
Texas Governors have been welcoming visitors since the Mansion opened in 1856. Guided tours are held year round though I think the addition of Christmas decorations makes it an extra special time to visit.
Tours have concluded for 2015, but you can check the website for more information and future tour dates.