The Old Mansion

Historical Marker #1208 in Frankfort notes the location of the Old Governor's Mansion, the former residence of the state's chief executive.

When Kentucky became the nation's fifteenth state in 1792, Frankfort was selected as the capital. The first state capitol building was built in 1794, and, four years later, a governor's residence was completed. Built on the corner of Clinton and High streets near downtown Frankfort, the Federal-style home featured a limestone foundation and brick construction. Interestingly, one of the future occupants participated in the building's construction. Thomas Metcalfe, Kentucky's tenth governor and a master stone mason, helped lay the structure's foundation in 1797.

The first governor to occupy the executive residence was James Garrard. The Old Mansion also served as the governor's workplace until 1872, when the Capitol Annex building adjacent to the Old State Capitol was completed. In 1858, the home was renovated in the Greek Revival-style, and, in 1890, a fire significantly damaged the residence.

In 1910, when a new state capitol building was constructed in south Frankfort, a new governor's office and residence was also completed. Governor James McCreary was the last executive to live in the house. The Old Governor’s Mansion fell in to disuse for many years, but, in the 1950s, it was renovated for service as the lieutenant governor's home. It served in that capacity until 2002. Today, the Old Governor's Mansion is used as a meeting space and guest house for visiting dignitaries.