Saturday, September 25, 2010

Two Years Later, work on Governor's Mansion to Begin

By Mike Ward
Austin American-Statesman 
Sept. 24, 2010

More than two years after an arsonist torched the storied Texas Governor's Mansion, work to restore the exterior finally is about to begin. And thanks to the use of federal hurricane money to pay for about half of the $22 million project, the high-profile preservation work will not face the same magnitude of budget cuts that other agencies do as state leaders grapple with budget problems caused by the economic downturn. Because of that, the mansion repair budget was cut by about $450,000 — by eliminating two new guardhouses from the grounds. State Preservation Board officials confirmed new details about the project in announcing that the first restoration work on the 154-year-old structure — masonry repairs to chimneys and the thick, brick exterior walls, and a new roof — will begin in early October.
"We are under way," said an elated John Sneed, executive director of the State Preservation Board, which is overseeing the restoration. The work has been repeatedly delayed by permitting, design and logistical issues — including a public controversy over the size and design of an addition, and whether one was even necessary.
The projected completion date is now February 2012, months later than originally forecast, Sneed said. After the fire, officials estimated that the project would take 24 to 30 months. Once a new roof is completed, extensive shoring installed inside the house after the blaze can be removed and the interior restoration can begin, officials said.

Click here to continue reading the article.

1 comment:

Murph said...

The whole country should be outraged that they are going to use federal hurricane $$ ($11M) to restore the governor’s mansion. I hope when the next hurricane strikes the governor is the first to open the doors of mansion to provide shelter for anyone displaced by the hurricane. I’m sure there are still people waiting for help that could use that money instead of the restoration of the mansion.