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Photo of Executive Mansion in Spring
Governor's Office, Acc. 40168, mg-16-041200
Under the administration of James S. Gilmore, III (1998–2002), Virginia's Executive Mansion underwent an extensive renovation in 1999–2000. Originally designed by architect Alexander Parris and first occupied in 1813, the structure is the longest continuously occupied governor's residence in the United States and has gone through a number of changes over the years. The mansion is a National Historic Landmark.

First Lady Roxane Gilmore oversaw the seven million dollar renovation that restored the historic public rooms on the first floor, modernized and expanded the second floor family residence, updated security and building systems, improved the grounds, and made the entire structure wheelchair accessible. The demolition and reconstruction work, carefully undertaken by skilled professionals, revealed elements of the building's historic fabric. Some of these aspects of the Executive Mansion's construction and decoration had not been visible for nearly two centuries.

As part of the restoration, the Commonwealth's Department of Historic Resources hired the firm of Sadler & Whitehead, Architects, PLC, to document the entire project, especially those previously hidden aspects of construction and ornamentation, using photography and descriptive commentary. Excavation, demolition, conservation, and new construction were all copiously documented by Mary Harding Sadler and Joseph D. Lahendro. Their materials include not only written information about their observations, but also hundreds of photographs capturing original interiors, decorative items, and structural elements of the Executive Mansion, Guest House/Cottage, Carriage House, and grounds.

The Executive Mansion Rehabilitation Project Database is part of the Sadler and Whitehead, Architects, Papers, 1992–2002 (Accession 41826).  This collection consists of documentary materials related to the restoration and rehabilitation of the Virginia Executive Mansion, Guest House/Cottage, Carriage House, and grounds in 1999.

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