Built in 1868, The Governor’s Mansion is the oldest building remaining on campus. The residence was built for the Soldiers Home’s director, whose position was then referred to as “governor.”
The Governor’s Mansion is located on the main road, separate from the core grouping of buildings, across from Wheeler Lake. It began as a smaller building with a mansard roof similar to the roof of Old Main. By 1916, the house was remodeled with the addition of the third floor and the replacement of the mansard roof with a hexagonal tent tower.
The mansion’s design is attributed to architect Edward Townsend Mix, the same architect that designed Old Main. The original form of the building almost identically mirrors the architect’s own home in Milwaukee formerly located on Waverly Place; which has since been demolished.
The 12-room home still has original window panes, stained and leaded glass windows. The interior of the Governor’s Mansion boasts a variety of outstanding and ornate details, including a walnut newel post on the main stairway. Additionally, marble surrounds hearth fireplaces in the living room, dining room, and study. Much of the original hardware is also intact, including the remaining porcelain knobs.
Until recently, the Governor’s Mansion served as the Medical Center Director’s Quarters. It is currently vacant and in need of rehabilitation and reuse.