Outgoing Gov. Bruce Rauner and first lady Diana Rauner are leaving the Illinois Governor’s Mansion in significantly greater – and greener – shape than they found it.
And thanks to a $15 million renovation, the historic home now has the paperwork to prove it.
The state announced this week that the mansion has received a LEED Silver designation through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, the world’s most widely used green building rating system.
The renovation involved a number of upgrades to improve the building’s energy efficiency, including replacing all plumbing fixtures with water-saving fixtures, installing LED lamping and replacing or rebuilding existing air-handling units to decrease energy usage.
Paid for solely with private funds, the three-year renovation also included roof repairs, a new kitchen in the governor’s apartment living area and an education center for school tour groups.
“Achieving LEED Silver certification is an accomplishment of which the entire state can be proud,” said Diane Rauner, who spearheaded the renovation project and served as chair of the nonprofit Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association. “Our mission to fully renovate the ‘People's House' has come to fruition, focusing on history and art while preserving the Mansion for future generations.
“We accomplished that while utilizing the existing structure and materials, taking advantage of its existing urban site and selecting sustainable and energy efficient products available from all over Illinois,” she continued.
Built in 1855, the Governor’s Mansion is one of the oldest in the country and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The 163-year-old building serves as the official residence for the state’s governor and a symbol of the executive branch of the state’s government.
The renovated Governor’s Mansion reopened for tours this summer after a public unveiling in July. The Mansion is open from 1 to 4 p.m. daily.
For more information about the Governor’s Mansion, including tour details, visit the state’s website.