October 23, 2014

Governor’s Residence celebrates 55 years with open house

First Dog Snickers outside the Governor’s Residence/Photo courtesy of the Gov’s office

Nebraskans are being invited to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Governor’s Residence this weekend with an open house both this afternoon and tomorrow.

The residence, located across the street south of the State Capitol, will be open for public tours today between Noon and 3pm. The inaugural gowns worn by Nebraska’s First Ladies will be on display. Residence will be invited to join Kim Todd, Associate Professor and Extension Landscape Specialist, for a walking tour of the garden. The open house continues on Saturday with a special presentation at 10am. Tours will resume from Noon until 1:30pm.

First Lady Sally Ganem shares a laugh with Gov. Dave Heineman/Photo courtesy of Gov’s office

First Lady Sally Ganem says all Nebraskans are welcome to tour the residence, which normally is open for tours only on Thursday afternoons. Ganem says state residents generally are quite impressed with the residence.

“People are usually surprise at how grand it is,” Ganem tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Many that come who have seen it previously, before the renovation in 1997, reminisce about what it was like.”

A fund-raiser in 1997 restored the residence to its original elegance after 40 years of wear and tear. Renovations the past 18 months have remodeled the residence to make it ADA accessible and update its safety and energy features.

On Saturday, the Nebraska Governor’s Residence Quilt will be unveiled at 10am. The quilt, “Meadow Lark Dance” designed by Shelly Burge, a native Nebraskan from Lincoln, is being presented to the people of Nebraska by the Nebraska State Quilt Guild. It will be hung as a wall display in the mansion.

“I have not seen the quilt. I won’t see the quilt until everyone else does,” Ganem says.

The Governor’s Residence formally opened on March 17th of 1958. Gov. Anderson was the first to live there. The architect was Selmer Solheim & Associates. The residence features 31 rooms, including five bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, four fireplaces and a three-stall garage.

Click here for the Nebraska Governor’s Residence website.

The garden in back of the Governor’s Residence/Photo courtesy of Gov’s office