Governor’s residence open to public

The residence, sporting donated Christmas decorations, is open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 7, 14 and 21.

by James Nord

The Governer’s residence will be open to visitors the next three Tuesdays for public tours. Annually, more than 15,000 visitors pass through the mansion, which will turn 100 next year.

The home serves a dual purpose, said Andrea Hart Kajer, chair of the Governor’s Residence Council. It’s not only the governorâÄôs residence, but the âÄúpeopleâÄôs homeâÄù for all Minnesotans to enjoy.

The Council manages the public portion of the residence.

The roughly 16,000 square foot mansion, donated to the state in 1965 by the Horace Hills Irvine family, has hosted nine governors. DFLer Karl Rolvaag moved in during his first and only term in 1966.

Since then, it has served as the residence for MinnesotaâÄôs first families, including 26 children.

Mary Shaffer, an architect on the Council, has been working on a plan to make the residence more environmentally-friendly over the past nine months.

âÄúIt is a beautiful historic building and I think itâÄôs important for Minnesotans to preserve the pieces of history that are entrusted to the citizens,âÄù Council chair Andrea Hart Kajer said.