Governor’s Residence open for tours on six days this summer

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach

The Minnesota Governor’s Residence, the stately home on St. Paul’s historic Summit Avenue, will be open for tours on six days this summer.

Gov. Mark Dayton lives in the home, which was built in 1912 by lumberman Horace Hills Irvine, and donated to the state by his daughters in 1965.

It has 16,000 square feet and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

This summer, the tours will be:

  • June 9 and 23, July 14 and 28, and August 4 and 18.
  • Times are: 10:30 a.m. to noon; tours begin every 10 minutes.
  • There’s no admission fee, but food shelf donations are encouraged and merchandise sales help support upkeep of the residence.
  • Reservations are welcomed and encouraged; walk-ins are accepted depending on availability.
  • Grounds and gardens are open to the public.

Volunteers from the Women’s Auxiliary of the Minnesota Historical Society will answer questions in each room on the first floor and lower level of the residence.

Nine governors have used the residence over the years. Among those on a list of famous guests are:

  • Kevin McHale, basketball player, manager and coach
  • John Ashcroft, U.S. Attorney General
  • Austrian Boys Choir
  • Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, People’s Republic of China\
  • Mikhail and Raiza Gorbachev, Soviet Union
  • King Harald and Queen Sonja, Norway, 1965 and 2012
  • Crown Prince Haakon, Norway 
  • King Carl Gustav XVI and Queen Silvia, Sweden 
  • Eleanor Roosevelt 
  • Vice President Al Gore and Tipper Gore
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver 
  • Jack Lemmon, actor
  • Sophia Loren, actor 
  • Ann-Margret, actor 
  • Jack Nicholson, actor 
  • Walter Matthau, actor 
  • Sean Penn, actor 
  • Robin Wright, actor 
  • Woody Harrelson, actor 
  • Kevin Garnett, basketball player
  • Zygi Wilf, Minnesota Vikings owner
  • Vince Flynn, author

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