Saturday, June 28, 2008
Texas Governor's Mansion & Fire
First things first, the Friends of the Texas Governor's Mansion website is plainly one of the most visually refreshing images in terms of the colors selected (sort of a golden yellow and cream) without a lot of clutter.
That being said. There is an absolute riot of news and conjecture regarding the recent fire. The Friends have this to offer.
"The Mansion suffered a devastating fire due to arson on Sunday, June 8, 2008. Fortunately, the building was empty due to a major deferred maintenance project. The First Family, their furnishings and all the historic collections were removed last October. Even the old doors and many of the original windows were off site during this construction project. Ongoing study of the damaged building by structural engineers and preservation architects makes us optimistic that the Mansion can be restored. The roof is greatly damaged, but the exterior walls are holding well. Historic architectural elements inside the structure were covered before the fire to protect them during the maintenance work. These covers preserved many of the fireplace mantels, door surrounds and the beautiful staircase during the fire. Please check back for periodic updates on the effort to save the home."
The "Building Maintenance" page within the site does have three postings relative to the fire. (As an aside these postings appear to "blog-like" in fashion. I'd not noticed this section before. Is it an embedded blog intended to offer occasional notes on original renovation?)
No specific news yet regarding the books, records, and papers formerly within the structure. We assume such were removed as were most valuables before the recent project of renovation.
For those interested in bibliography, the website does have an admirably lengthy, and categoried list under "Bibliography and Collections", the categories being:
BOOKS AND OTHER SOURCES
-19th CENTURY ARCHITECTURE
-AMERICAN DECORATIVE ARTS
-EARLY TEXAS PAINTINGS, MAPS, AND RELATED ART
-GENERAL TEXAS HISTORY
-LEADERS OF TEXAS BEFORE STATEHOOD
--STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
-GOVERNORS AND FIRST FAMILIES
--WORKS SPECIFIC TO ONE GOVERNOR
ARCHIVES AND COLLECTIONS
Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. .
Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
FGM Curating Files. Friends of the Governor’s Mansion.
Governor’s Mansion Curating Files. Governor’s Mansion.
Archives Division, Texas State Library and Archives.