FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) – This month begins a yearlong celebration of the 100-year-old Governor's Mansion.
The centennial celebration will be lead by Kentucky's 61st governor, Steve Beshear, and first lady Jane Beshear.
Governor Augustus Willson, Kentucky's 36th governor, set in motion the building of a new home, though he was not in office when it was completed.
Governor James McCreary and his daughter would be the first occupants in 1914. McCreary's wife Kate died before his second term. He was also the last governor to ride in a horse-drawn carriage. The newly built carriage house was quickly torn down to make way for a more modern garage.
After the Capitol was complete in 1912, the General Assembly selected the low bid of approximately $75,000 from Frankfort Construction to build the Beaux Arts revival home as designed by Ft. Thomas architects C.C. and Edward Weber.
The old governor's mansion is still standing in downtown Frankfort.
Here are some interesting facts about the Governor's Mansion according to Kentucky.gov:
- Started in 1912 - Completed in 1914
- Land cost was $9,500.
- Building cost was $62,000.
- $20,000 was appropriated for furnishings.
- Final cost was $94,902.40.
- Designed in the Beaux-Arts style; inspiration for the mansion came from French architecture.
- Designed by C.C. and E.A. Weber of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.
- The Mansion's exterior was modeled after the Petit Trianon, Queen Marie Antoinette's villa near the Palace of Versailles in France.
- A stone balustrade and terrace lead to the front portico that includes four pairs of Ionic columns.
- The interior of the Mansion reflects the eclectic interest in French Neo-Classicism typical of the Beaux-Arts period.
- Most lighting fixtures and decorative features such as the ornamental plaster and mantles are original to the building.
- The average number of full time staff is between 12 and 15. Several part time staffers work at the Mansion during special events as well.
The centennial celebration continues all year with various events and tours can be scheduled throughout the year.