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Texas Hill Country Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Austin: Governor's Mansion


GREEK REVIVAL REVIVED

The Governor’s Mansion, official residence of the state’s chief executive, was constructed of local Austin brick between 1854 and 1856 for $ 14,500, with an additional $2,500 appropriated for interior furnishings (which, according to records, wasn’t enough). Architect Abner Cook designed the 19th century Greek Revival structure, appropriating Bastrop timber for the six Ionic columns across the mansion’s façade. Governor Elisha M. Pease was the first to occupy the stately home, followed by Runnels, Sam Houston, and two others before Pendleton Murrah moved in and provided the mansion with its first ghost – a young nephew who committed suicide in one of the bedrooms. In 1901 the mansion received a Victorian makeover courtesy of First Lady Oline Sayers. By 1914 major repairs and renovations were required to maintain the mansion, then over sixty years old. The surrounding grounds were brought under control by First Lady Nellie Connally in the 1960s who guided the landscape designs that continue to reflect the formal gardens seen today. A complete structural restoration began in 1979 and was completed in 1982. Then, in 2008, during a major maintenance project, an arsonist set fire to the mansion that caused considerable damage. Today, the mansion has been restored to its original elegance (including a modern addition – a fire suppression system) where visitors may take a guided tour and examine the home’s outstanding collection of 19th century American antiques, portraits, and heirlooms.  


Location

  • 1010 Colorado Street
  • Austin, Texas
  • 78701

Contact

Hours & Fees

  • Guided tours: Wednesdays,Thursdays and Fridays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. 

  • Free


Map & Directions

Reservations are required for tours and must be made at least one week in advance. Tours are 20 minutes and are subject to availability. Visitors may call 512-305-8524 for tour reservations, or email Mansion.Tours@tspb.state.tx.us.


Texas in Review - Governor’s Mansion (1957)
Donor: Texas Historical Commission
Sound | 1957
Film courtesy Texas Archive of the Moving Image

This clip, originally aired as part of the June 17, 1957 episode of Texas in Review, invites the viewer into the Governor's Mansion to meet Texas' First Family and visit the house and grounds. Inside, Mrs. Daniel gives a tour that shows off its stately official chambers and historical furnishings,many the possessions of former governors and other statesman, including letters of Sam Houston. Along the way, Governor Daniel points out emergency repairs to the hall ceiling.