Louisiana Governor's Mansion
The Mansion was designed by the architectural firm of Annan and Gilmer of Shreveport, Louisiana. The inspiration for the exterior design was Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. Like many plantation homes built between 1830 and 1860, Oak Alley was designed with a second story veranda that was typical of many Louisiana houses.
The second-floor veranda found at Oak Alley was omitted. It was thought that the concept of a second story veranda was too informal for a Governor's Mansion. Although the new Mansion is in the Greek Revival style, it also incorporates several Georgian features such as dormers, a fanlight of the doorway at the front entrance, and the long window on the circular stairs in the rotunda.
White Doric columns line the building on three sides. The columns are interrupted on the east side by a driveway leading to an underground garage. The exterior of the building is constructed of hand-molded brick that has been painted white. The roof is made of cleft-face Vermont non-fading, gray-green slate. Front and side porches are of the same type of slate. Lampposts located in the parking lot east of the building were once gas lights used in Plymouth, England. The cast iron railing atop the driveway retaining walls and the second story windows were designed from the railing used on the old Beauregard House on Chartres Street in New Orleans and was modified with the diamond pattern by the architect.
The Mansion contains a total of 25,000 square feet of space in three floors and a basement. Upper floors are served by an elevator. The Mansion designers sought and achieved a level of convenience that blended the public and private living quarters almost seamlessly. Depending on the event, the downstairs areas can be opened or sequestered by closing off strategically located doors.
The crystal globes of the light fixtures in the entrance vestibule, and the Adam lamp in the rotunda are etched with the Seal of the State. Both were transferred from the old Governor's Mansion.
The main entrance hall and rotunda are paved with marble that was quarried and fabricated in Italy. The two Empire pier tables were purchases for the Mansion during the Treen Administration. They have an interesting history. They were acquired in about 1825 by Benjamin Gratz for his noted home in Lexington, Kentucky. The Meissen porcelain vases atop the pier tables, by designer Ernst August Lotharios, circa 1885, were given to the Louisiana Governor's Mansion Foundation in October of 1997 by Dan Heard of Baton Rouge.
This seal is inlaid with approximately 2,500 pieces of marble incised into the marble cartwheel. It is a masterpiece of detail and took the artist and two assistants more than six weeks to complete. The eye of the pelican has more than 25 individual pieces of colored marble. It should be noted that the base of the seal contains a magnolia blossom. The designer exercised his artistic license in incorporating the magnolia since it is not part of our seal.
The portraits of the Governors who have lived in the mansion are hanging above the circular stairs. These portraits were commissioned by the Louisiana Governor's Mansion Foundation and were reproduced from official photographs taken when each Governor held the office.
State Dining Room
Located on the east wall flanking the fireplace are two Empire pier tables. They were purchased for the Mansion during the Treen administration.
The Howe sideboard was donated during the renovation of the Mansion when Governor Treen was in office. Adorning the Howe sideboard is a pair of early 19th century patented brass pedestal garniture vases. Each includes a cornucopia-shaped vase with beaded acanthus-decorated rim continuing to an acanthus, waterleaf and anthemion support terminating in a ram's head, above a rectangular plinth with garlands centering a spread-wing butterfly on stepped base with a frieze of floral decoration.
The original wood mantle in the State Dining Room was a copy of a mantle in Ormond Plantation above New Orleans. During the Treen renovation, the wooden mantle was removed and the marble mantle added.