This Old Mansion: update at Governor's Residence uses no public funds


A dark and dated downstairs room at the state-owned Governor's Residence has gotten a spruce-up thanks to the efforts of preservation groups.

The Star Tribune reports that the 1006 Summit Avenue Society, the nonprofit dedicated to preserving the mansion, and the Summit Avenue Society, which does private fundraising to finance mansion updates, worked on the transformation of the lower-level family room.

The society wanted the space reconfigured to accommodate more people and brightened to make it more welcoming. The existing furnishings in the room were described as heavy, and the dark red walls, pool table and foosball table, thought to be a holdover from Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s era, added to the masculine vibe.

“It felt like a man cave — so one-gender,” said designer Barbara Hafften.

To lighten the room, Hafften painted it yellow with a top coat of glaze, giving the textured walls the look of old stucco. Hafften reworked the space by updating lighting, rearranging new donated furnishings and repurposing items already in the residence.

The organizations who sponsored the update are pleased with the update. What about the governor himself?

“I haven’t met the governor, but I know his dogs very well,” Hafften said.

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