Holiday-themed tours of the Governor’s Residence in St. Paul begin Thursday.
Gov. Mark Dayton lives at the mansion, 1006 Summit Ave., with his dogs. (State officials like to call it the Governor’s Residence, to avoid ostentation, but it’s a Summit Avenue mansion, no doubt.)
The English Tudor country manor in the Beaux Arts style was built in 1912 by St. Paul lumberman and lawyer Horace Hills Irvine with 20 rooms, nine fireplaces, nine bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and two porches. It was donated to the state in 1965 by Irvine’s two youngest daughters, Clotilde and Olivia.
The free tours will be rom 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 1, 8 and 15. Christmas trees at the residence and the Capitol grounds will be lit for the first time Thursday night.
The official description of the tours:
The interior of the home is expertly decorated by volunteers from across the state, organized by Kohler and Dramm Wholesale Florists, with ornaments donated by Target Corporation and the 1006 Summit Avenue Society. In the Drawing Room, there will be a live 8-foot tree, donated by Krueger’s Christmas Trees. The tree will be decorated with Lenox ornaments that commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Governor’s Residence.
During the tours, volunteer docents from the Women’s Auxiliary of the Minnesota Historical Society will be on hand to answer questions in each room on the First Floor and Lower Level of the Residence. The 1006 Summit Avenue Society will be offering a selection of merchandise, available for purchase at each tour. Proceeds from the sale will help to support the historic Residence.
A 20-foot balsam fir is on display on the front lawn of the Residence. The tree was harvested from the Chengwatana State Forest by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and members of Conservation Corps Minnesota. Rocket Crane Company donated services to help with the installation of the tree, and it is decorated with over 6,000 LED lights, which will be lit for the first time on December 1st. The gates outside the Residence are decorated with fresh spruce garland and LED lights, and wreaths are hung on the front doorway, all donated by Mickman Brothers. Four gorgeous holiday baskets are hung under the porte-cochere, donated by Bachman’s Floral Gift and Garden.