The “People’s House” to be restored with private funds
Frankfort, KY: First Lady Glenna Fletcher today unveiled plans for the first comprehensive preservation of the Governor’s Mansion in more than 20 years. The Governor’s Mansion Preservation Foundation will raise private funds for the preservation of this Kentucky treasure, the people’s house. A 501(c)3 was filed for this historic endeavor.
“The first priority of the preservation project will be the first floor public areas. More than 45,000 visitors come to the Mansion annually. The increased traffic through this portion of the house has dramatically increased the wear and tear on the finishes and the mechanical systems which thus necessitates the need for ongoing preventative maintenance and restoration,” said Mrs. Fletcher. “In order to be good stewards of this property, the governor and I believe it is our responsibility to preserve the mansion before the deterioration becomes worse.”
Governor and Mrs. Fletcher have consulted with William Seale, a nationally recognized leader in historic preservation, on the restoration of the mansion. The project's architectural team, led by Steve Sherman of Sherman, Carter, Barnhart Architects, also has significant experience in the art of historic preservation.
“The intent of this project is to restore the architectural significance of the mansion while protecting the building’s integrity and reflecting the rich history of our commonwealth. We must do what we can to preserve it for generations to come,” added Mrs. Fletcher.
Since the Fletchers moved into the mansion, a number of much-needed improvements have been made including the replacement of 23-year-old ovens, toilets with a history of plumbing problems and leaky faucets, according to Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary Robbie Rudolph, but a lot of needed work remains.
"The windows need to be replaced, it needs a new HVAC system, there are leaks and cracks and crumbling plaster," Rudolph said. "It costs us more in the long run to keep repairing these things that it would to replace them with something new."
Former first ladies of Kentucky applaud Governor and Mrs. Fletcher’s commitment to restoring the beauty and integrity of the Executive Mansion.
“As Kentuckians, we are collectively so fortunate to own one of the most beautiful executive residences in America,” said former First Lady Libby Jones. “Generations of governors’ families and the public have been blessed to use it as their official home. For all of us, it is not only a privilege but a responsibility to preserve this great house and be able to pass it on to future generations in magnificent condition.”
Former First Lady Judi Patton praised the Fletchers for including the public in this important project. “I applaud First Lady Fletcher’s decision to devote the proceeds of the Governor’s Derby Gala to this project and there-by give the people of Kentucky the opportunity to contribute to the preservation of the “The People’s Home” for future generations.”
Proceeds from the Governor’s Derby Gala, which will be held Thursday, May 5th, will be put toward the Governor’s Mansion Preservation Foundation.
Kentucky’s Executive Mansion was designed by Kentuckians C.C. and E.A. Weber of Fort Thomas in 1912. Construction on the mansion was completed in 1914. Including Governor Fletcher and his family, 23 governors have lived in the mansion. It is one of only 10 Mid-American mansions regularly open to the public for tours.