History of the Missouri Governor's Mansion
In 1872 Governor B. Gratz Brown and his family first occupied this stately three-story brick building. The Missouri Governor's Mansion is one of the oldest and most beautiful governors' homes in the United States. Thirty-five of Missouri's Governors have lived in this beautiful residence. The entry consists of an imposing portico with four dignified pink granite columns.
The Missouri Governor's Mansion was completed in late December 1871. The mansion was built in only eight months, with much of the work performed by prisoners of the nearby penitentiary. The cost, including some of the furnishing, was $74,960.00. The mansion, designed by noted St. Louis architect George Ingham Barnett, is a beautiful example of Second Empire architecture. The Second Empire style is characterized by the patterned mansard roof and was popular in the 1860s -1890s. The Missouri Governor's Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The slate tile mansard roof, was restored in 2008 to its original geometric pattern of 1871. The dormer windows, decorative cornice and filigree iron cresting are other notable elements in the architecture.
The Governor's library, located on the first floor, was extensively renovated in 1976. The furnishings, wall coverings and the ceiling design were chosen to reflect the time period.
The Grand Stairway is an unforgettable feature in the Mansion. The free-standing staircase exemplifies the beautiful hand-carved, black walnut banister and balusters. Throughout the house, the seventeen foot ceilings provide a grand backdrop for portraits of Missouri's First Ladies.
The USS Missouri tea service sits on the dining room table, complementing the USS Missouri silver punch bowl on the circa 1840 sideboard. The sideboard is entirely handmade by an expert cabinetmaker from Jefferson City, Missouri.