Something is different about 882 South Curtiswood Lane. Very different. For the past nine years, no one has lived there. It has been fun driving on Curtiswood without having to watch my speed, because no one was there to care. There is now!
The home that has served as the “Executive Residence” for all of Tennessee’s Governors, from 1949 -2002, was all lit up again! There was even a State Trooper at the main gate flashing his lights for me to slow down! Welcome to Nashville, Governor Bill Haslam and family!
Tennesseans, especially the family of our new Governor, are greatly indebted to the efforts of former Governor Phil Bredesen and his wife Andrea Conte. They unselfishly took on the challenge of organizing and executing the first major renovation/restoration of this historic 80-year old home since the state purchased it in 1949. Of the 18 million dollar project cost, 9 million was raised from private donations. **
(**Politicos – I have not fact-checked the accuracy of these exact figures and am only using those ascertained from media articles on the subject. Go jump on someone else.)
Also added was an underground facility that will seat 160. That addition was very controversial, but will prove to be an asset to the state. As a child, I always knew when the Governor was having a party because there was a huge circus tent on the front lawn, connected to the residence. Sometimes there were porta-johns too, if my memory serves correctly.
If you do the math and compile the entire cost of the whole addition and restoration project, the taxpayers are not affected. The cost of the underground “Conservation Hall” was fully funded by private sources, and the restoration funded by the state, which honestly had let the facility go far too long without performing desparately needed repairs and alterations. Try letting your home go for 53 years and see how you come out!
Thank you Governor Bredesen and First Lady Andrea Conte for sacrificing your residency at such a cool place to live for the benefit of future leaders!
Enjoy this overview with former First Lady, Andrea Conte:
Since 1949, there have been a few changes to the Executive Residence over the years. Perimeter fencing and entrance gates were added in the early 70’s, Lamar Alexander added a swimming pool during his term, at no cost to taxpayers. (I cannot imagine an estate of that caliber not having a pool in the first place.)
One Halloween many years ago, after a successful visit to Minnie Pearl’s house, a group of us decided we would head next-door to “Trick-or-Treat” at the Governor’s Mansion too. As we approached the gates, they suddenly opened…without us saying a word. A voice came over the intercom…. “BOO! Come on up!” And we did.
We arrived at the back door of the mansion to be greeted by First Lady Betty Dunn. She invited us in, the whole time apologizing for not having any halloween candy on hand. No one had ever “trick-or-treated” at the Governor’s Mansion before.
She served us cookies and refreshments and then took time to show us around the place. What a gracious and charming lady! Then, and now. And for those that may be asking….. No, we did not roll the yard when we left. (Not that one anyway!)
Here are some interesting links regarding this historic Tennessee home:
Here is an aerial view of the property. http://wikimapia.org/4168812/Tennessee-Governor-039-s-Mansion
And here are a few scenes of the residence that all Tennesseans can now be very proud of:
Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, www.OleSouth.com, 615.896.0019 direct 615.593.6340. Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee