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Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

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State marker honoring Virginia’s Executive Mansion to be dedicated Saturday

A panoramic image shows the front facade and entry drive to Virginia’s Executive Mansion on Capitol Square. The home, which welcomed its first of 54 governors on March 13, 1813, is celebrating its bicentennial this month with public events, a new book and a PBS documentary. (VIRGINIA’S EXECUTIVE MANSION)

The marker dedication is one of the events on Saturday, March 16, to celebrate the Executive Mansion’s 200th anniversary. The public is invited.

RICHMOND – This Saturday, Governor Bob McDonnell and Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell will dedicate a new state historical marker issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources that commemorates Virginia’s Executive Mansion as “the oldest purpose-built residence for governors and first families in the United States still serving that function,” according to the marker.

The March 16 unveiling ceremony, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the marker’s location on Capitol Square in Richmond, is part of a roster of events planned Saturday to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the mansion’s completion in 1813.

Also participating in Saturday’s public ceremony will be Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech, who oversees the Department of Historic Resources, along with DHR director Kathleen S. Kilpatrick. The historical marker is a gift from the department honoring the Executive Mansion’s 200th anniversary.

Virginia’s Executive Mansion was designed by renowned Boston architect Alexander Parris.

“A garden designed by prominent landscape architect Charles F. Gillette in the 1950s complements the house,” the marker states. It also notes that the mansion “stands as a survivor of war, changing politics, and a symbol of the endurance of the Old Dominion.”

The mansion was listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1968 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. In 1988, the National Park Service designated it a National Historic Landmark, the highest honor the NPS bestows on a historic site.

Virginia’s historical highway marker program, which began in 1927 with the installation of the first historical markers along U.S. 1, is considered the oldest such program in the nation.

Currently, there are more than 2,200 official state markers, most maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation, as well as by local partners in jurisdictions outside of VDOT’s authority.

The marker will read:

Virginia’s Executive Mansion

Designed by renowned Boston architect Alexander Parris and completed in 1813, Virginia’s Federal-style Executive Mansion is the oldest purpose-built residence for governors and first families in the United States still serving that function.   Until 1902, the governor had his office here. A garden designed by prominent landscape architect Charles F. Gillette in the 1950s complements the house. This mansion, which stands as a survivor of war, changing politics, and a symbol of the endurance of the Old Dominion, was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1968 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988.

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/pastisprologue/2013/03/14/state-marker-honoring-virginias-executive-mansion-to-be-dedicated-saturday/

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