Crews are hanging drapes, fluffing pillows, and finalizing the last details on the governor's mansion a month ahead of Rick Perry's move back into the Greek Revival-style home.
The Perrys moved out of the mansion and into a swanky rental property in October 2007 so that a $10 million renovation could commence, but in June 2008, an arsonist lobbed Molotov cocktails at the historic home, partially destroying the building and necessitating a full renovation.
On Wednesday, the media got a sneak peek of the $25 million renovations of the Governor's Mansion (pictured above in 2000).
The same antique furnishings, including "a writing desk once used by Stephen F. Austin, known as the Father of Texas" and "a bed used by Sam Houston, a former governor and Republic of Texas president" are being moved back into the mansion now.
The Perrys have drawn criticism for spending $8,500 a month on their rental, located ten miles from downtown Austin. Perry said in February he is excited to get back downtown so he can run at "magnificent" Lady Bird Lake, Hearst's Peggy Fikac reported.
"As its restoration nears completion, we enter a new chapter in its history," Anita Perry said this week in a statement. "Returning these important pieces to their rightful place in the Governor's Mansion brings us one step closer to completing the restoration of this Texas treasure, which is one of the cornerstones of our state's rich heritage."
Some of the features of the revamped Governor's Mansion:
- Geothermal heating and cooling
- "A porch that had been used as a bedroom" replaced with "an actual bedroom"
- New ADA-compliant elevator
- New staircase replacing a "very dangerous stairway from 1914" that Anita Perry and others had fallen down.
- Beefed up security
The five first-floor rooms of the mansion "will eventually be reopened to the public" and will "look the same as they did before the fire," the Austin American Statesman 's Mike Ward reported.