Mansion Restoration Stories

In October 2007, the 156-year-old mansion underwent deferred maintenance to replace plumbing and electrical systems, install indoor fire sprinklers, and improve handicap accessibility. In the early morning hours of June 8, 2008, an unidentified arsonist threw a Molotov cocktail on the front porch causing catastrophic damage. The Governor and First Lady, along with the Texas Legislature, preservationists, history enthusiasts and countless Texans, committed to preserve and restore the historic mansion, which has served as the official residence for governors and their families since 1856.

Dealey Herndon

Project Manager of Governor's Mansion Restoration, State Preservation Board
Historic preservationist Dealey Herndon was selected as project manager of the Governor's Mansion Restoration in 2008. She is former executive director of the Texas State Preservation Board and managed the Texas Capitol Preservation and Extension Project through its completion in the early 1990s.


John Nichols

Capitol Fire Marshal, State Preservation Board
The 2008 fire caused significant structural and architectural damage. Fire Marshal Nichols was one of 100 firefighters to respond to the four-alarm blaze, and it took an estimated two million gallons of water to put out the fire.


Paul Westlund

Owner, Professional Workroom of Design
The return of the Governor's Mansion Collection marked the first stage of the move phase of the Governor's Mansion restoration. The collection is composed of historic state-owned pieces that have been in the Governor's Mansion and museum-quality American antiques dating back to the earliest years of the state's history, including the bed used by Sam Houston and  Stephen F. Austin's writing desk.