Governor’s Mansion (Executive Mansion)

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NRHP Listing Date


NHL Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


First occupied in 1813 by Governor James Barbour, Virginia’s Executive Mansion is the nation’s oldest governor’s mansion built for that purpose. Its architect, Alexander Parris, was a native of Maine who lived briefly in Richmond and later became a leading architect in Boston. Constructed adjacent to the Virginia State Capitol building by builder Christopher Tompkins, the mansion is a skillful essay in the Federal style. During its many years of service, the mansion has accommodated such guests as Lafayette, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), Marshal Foch, Winston Churchill, and Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The bodies of Stonewall Jackson and tennis champion Arthur Ashe have lain in state here. Except for architect Duncan Lee’s 1908 dining room addition and the creation of the ballroom following a 1926 fire, the house has been little changed. The exterior was restored during the Baliles administration when the balustrades and decorative panels were reconstructed.  In 1990, the Governor’s Mansion achieved a prominent place in African American history when it became the residence of L. Douglas Wilder, the first elected black governor in America since Reconstruction.

Last Updated: January 30, 2024

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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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