The Illinois Executive Mansion is the official residence of the Governor of Illinois. It is located at 410 E. Jackson Street in Springfield, Illinois and is open to tours on Wednesdays and Saturday mornings, free of charge. The Georgian style Mansion was designed by Chicago architect John M. Van Osdel. The Mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The 16-room manor was completed in 1855 and was first occupied by governor Joel Matteson, who held the official grand opening on January 10, 1856. It is one of the oldest historic residences in the state of Illinois and one of the three oldest continuously occupied governor's mansions in the United States. The governor's mansion is constructed in an "H" shaped configuration. During the Christmas season the mansion is decorated lavishly with Christmas decorations, including over a dozen Christmas trees. Although sometimes used for state functions such as state dinners and the like, the mansion proper is, for the most part, a historic site. The libraries, bedrooms, parlors, sitting rooms, etc. are maintained as they may have looked in the 19th century. The governor and his family are not expected to actually reside in the main mansion itself. Rather, a 7-room private apartment on the second floor of the mansion is provided for the governor and his family. Former Illinois Governor George Ryan and First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan refurbished much of the mansion's furniture during their tenure using private donations. In 2011, a multimillion-dollar renovation was planned because the last repairs to the mansion were in 1971. In 2009, newly elevated Governor Pat Quinn announced that he was looking forward to living in the mansion, calling it "the people's house." His predecessor Rod Blagojevich had continued to live in his Ravenswood Manor home while commuting via state plane to Springfield and preferred to execute his gubernatorial duties from within his home and, less commonly, the Governor's office in Chicago's Thompson Center. The 2014 polar vortex led to significant water damage to the mansion, and Governor Quinn, who chose to live in the mansion part-time, allocated about $40,000 in emergency repairs. Shortly after his election as governor, Bruce Rauner announced that he and his wife would invest some of their money into repairing the mansion so they could live in it during his term. On July 18, 2016, Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner announced a $15 million renovation project for the mansion, with the funding being raised privately. The work is planned to be completed by the Illinois bicentennial in 2018.
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