At a ceremony this morning in Austin, Texas Governor Rick Perry and his wife Anita officially declared the Texas Governor’s Mansion restored. The 156 year-old building has undergone a lot of restorative work over the past few years as a result of a June 2008 fire. The 2008 fire, caused by an arsonist, resulted in ''catastrophic damage' to the front porch and other portions of the structure.

"Today is a day for marking the 156 years this structure has served at the heart of the State of Texas, and for looking ahead to the next 150 years and more," Gov. Perry said. "Today, the Governor's Mansion stands renewed, as a symbol of Texas' resiliency and our state's determination to work together to overcome the greatest of challenges."

The restoration cost over $24 million with $3.5 million raised by Anita Perry and $21.5 million appropriated by the Texas Legislature.

In October 2007, the mansion underwent deferred maintenance to replace plumbing and electrical systems, install indoor fire sprinklers, and improve handicap accessibility.

The entire mansion underwent a complete restoration, including a new roof, repairs to the exterior masonry, restoration of the columns and porches, renovations to the kitchen, and the installation of a new geoexchange system to provide more energy efficient heating and cooling. Private funds were used to pay for an addition to the west side, restoration of historical features, improved handicap accessibility, and the completion of landscaping and historical documentation.

For more information about the mansion restoration project and the history of the mansion, the Governor's office has created the following websites: http://governor.state.tx.us/mansion/ and http://governor.state.tx.us/mansion/timeline.