New plan afoot for remodeling at Governor’s Residence

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Minnesota officials are soliciting bids for proposed upgrades at the stately Governor's Residence on Summit Avenue that would include a renovation of the property's carriage house and a new pavilion for functions held there.

The estimated $800,000 in work would be paid for through private donations and go forward only if that money is secured, according to materials posted by the Department of Administration. An advertisement Monday in the State Register includes a swift timetable for considering proposals, but the work itself might not begin until the spring of 2018.

According to materials detailing the project, the plan calls for remodeling of an existing carriage house and construction of a 4,000-square foot addition that will include a commercial kitchen, dining area, conference room and some office space.

The Governor's Residence Council recommended the project "after learning about how other states approach the use of their Governor’s Residence and a series of interviews with former first ladies and staffs of the Residence on how the building functions and the limitations," said Department of Administration spokesman Curt Yoakum.

The Minnesota governor's mansion was donated to the state in 1965 by the family of famed St. Paul lumberman Horace Hills Irvine, who had it built in 1912. The main building, where Gov. Mark Dayton now resides, has nearly 15,000-square feet, seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms and eight fireplaces. The carriage house near the back of the property has about 3,400 square feet.

During renovation of the state Capitol, Dayton has used the space for high-level negotiations and social gatherings with state lawmakers. But it is also frequently used by groups for special events. It is periodically opened for public tours.

The property is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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