The whopping ~34,000 sqft NC Executive Mansion sits on an ~5-acre lot — located at 200 N Blount St. (~3 blocks down from the NC Museum of Science) — it’s hard to miss.
The mansion was designed by renowned architects Samuel Sloan and Adolphus Gustavus Bauer during the Victorian era (1837-1901), back when Queen Anne-style homes were wildly popular. It’s purpose: to serve as the official residence of the Governor of NC + their family. However, there had been multiple official governors’ residences in Raleigh before the mansion was built — none proved adequate enough. Therefore, the state finally commissioned the construction of the NC Executive Mansion. Governor Daniel G. Fowle and his family were the first to move into the mansion in January 1891.
Since then, 29 state executives have lived in it — including Bev Perdue, Pat McCrory, and current Gov. Roy Cooper. It’s said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt once described the mansion as having “the most beautiful governor’s residence interior in America.”
While tours are currently unavailable due to COVID-19, the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) provides free 360° virtual tours of the mansion online.
🏠 The Entrance Hall and Morning Room is 90 ft. long with 16 ft. ceilings. Take note of the handmade crimson and gold carpet which features a plethora of hidden Raleigh symbols, such as an oak leaf and acorn + the names of the 25 governors who occupied the mansion during the first 100 years.
🏠 The Parlors (otherwise known as “withdrawing rooms”) are where governors did most of their entertaining. The Green Parlor features Chinese Chippendale decor + the Pink Parlor is styled after the classical manner of the 18th century.
🏠 The Ballroom, which was originally designed as the music room, was mainly used for balls, receptions, and parties. However, the room once provided shelter to soldiers during World War I.
🏠 The Library contains a collection of books about NC + by NC authors.
🏠 The Dining Room has seen many elegant receptions, meals, and meetings. The beautiful mahogany banquet table can seat up to 24 people. The Dining Room is also home to the official state china.inner plates, all engraved with the state seal, long-leaf pine, dogwood, and North Carolina monogram sit in the china cabinet to the right.
🏠 The Gardens were brought to life in 1985 by First Lady Dorothy Martin (with the support of the Junior League of Raleigh and the NC Association of Nurserymen). The garden holds a variety of flowers and plants, including elephant ears, roses, cannas, azaleas, camellias + rhododendrons.
#HotTip: For people, like Editor Carly, who are crazy about Christmas — they also have a video of the mansion fully decked out in holiday decorations.
The mansion was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 — meaning NC is dedicated to preserving and maintaining the mansion for years to come.