|The North Carolina Executive Mansion, often referred to as the Governors
Mansion, is a monumental building located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It
is currently home to North Carolina's governor, Jim Hunt. The mansion on
Fayetville Street in downtown Raleigh has not always been the residency
for North Carolina state governors, in fact, it is the fourth official
house that has been selected.
The first palace, "Tyron Palace," designed by John Hawkes was the first governor's mansion present. Completed in 1770, this palatial brick Georgian-style residence was the seat of government until 1792, when Raleigh was named the new capitol city. There, a two-story frame structure was built at the corner of Fayettville and Hargett Street. This "palace" was selected in 1797 as the second official governor's palace. In 1816, Boston builder James Calder completed the third official "palace." Located at the foot of Fayetteville Street, site of Memorial Auditorium, this two-story brick structure was the official residence of 20 governors from 1816 to1865. When Raleigh joined the Union side during the Civil War, the governors palace served as a headquarters for General W. T. Sherman and then for the North Carolina military commandment, resulting in destruction, leaving the house with unfit living conditions.
After three "palaces" which all turned into abandoning, governors living in rented houses, and aggressive lobbying of Governor Thomas J. Jarvis, the General Assembly authorized construction of the present governor's residence on Burke Square in 1883. Colonel William J. Hicks, warden of the state penitentiary, supervised the construction using prison labor and native products such as clay, sandstone, and timber. Even today, prisoners' names can be found etched in the brick and sandstone that build the house.After seven years of construction, there were many struggles to find money and win approvals from legislators and citizens to finish the building. After seven years in 1900, the final palace was finished.
The interior of the mansion is very well designed. When you walk in there are portraits of past governors on the wall. Usually, the present governor's potrait is located in front of all the rest, but the governor has the option to re-arrange them any way he likes. As you walk around you will notice that there are 15 rooms in the mansion. There is the Gentlemanís Parlor, Ballroom, Library, the Dining Room, Ladies Parlor, Morning Room, living and dining area, southwest bedroom, northwest bedroom, east bedroom, south central bedroom, northeast bedroom, southeast bedroom, kitchen , and the family den. Arranged around the house are fourteen fireplacees, including two in the ballroom, and two in the conference room.
The gentlmen's parlor has very unique features. It has a red handmade
rug with four medallions representing four historic North Carolina
moments: the 1903 Wright Brothersí flight, DeSoto's expedition in
1540, Sir Walter Raleigh's funding for attempting to establish the first
colony, and the 1795 founding of our state's first university.
Overall, the house is very historical and interesting . If you ever have a chance to visit the North Carolina Governor's Mansion then you should go visit. After all, the only other way is to win your way into office.