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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Old Governors Mansion - Frankfort, KY

The Old Governors Mansion - Frankfort, KY

According to the historical marker:
Home of 33 governors during their terms of office and scene of elaborate political and social functions, 1797 to 1914. Thomas Metcalfe, who laid the stone foundation in 1797, later occupied the mansion as the tenth KY governor, 1828-32. Not used from 1914 to 1956. Then it was renovated and made residence for the Lieutenant Governors.

The mansion is reputed to be the oldest official executive residence officially still in use in the United States, as the mansion is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky. The last actual occupants of the mansion was Lieutenant Governor Steve Henry and his wife Heather French Henry. Since Henry in 2003, Lieutenant Governors have chosen not to live in the mansion but to maintain residences in their hometowns and travel to Frankfort as needed. Because of this, the mansion has been turned over to the Kentucky Historical Society.

Although the historical marker doesn't mention, according to legend there was also a bricklayer for the mansion, Robert P. Letcher, who later too became governor from 1840 to 1844. The Home barely survived fires and neglect through the years. It has undergone several style changes as evidenced by some Victorian design elements that were added to the original Georgian plan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

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