Gov. Bruce Rauner and First Lady Diana Rauner welcomed guests and visitors at the grand reopening of the Illinois Governor’s Mansion on East Jackson Street in Springfield.
Joining Mansion Curator Justin Blandford to unlock the front door at a celebratory ceremony, the Rauners cheered the results of the two-years long, privately funded project and encouraged Illinoisans to plan a visit soon to “the People’s House.”
“This is a great day for the state of Illinois,” Gov. Rauner said. “Diana and I have been eager to reopen the doors of the mansion and we are so excited to invite the people of Illinois back to this historic facility.”
In addition to workers and project benefactors, the governor thanked U.S. Reps. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, and Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, who shared an American flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol to grace the Governor’s Mansion property.
“Of course, the biggest thanks of all goes to my wife, my First Lady Diana, who serves as chair of the Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association and is really the heart and soul of this renovation project,” the governor said.
Diana Rauner praised the association members, partners, donors and supporters who made the project possible — taking the 1800s-era mansion that had last undergone extensive renovation in the 1970s from a virtually uninhabitable, dilapidated state to an ADA-compliant, energy efficient, elegant space with a new visitors’ center, dedicated art space and more.