The Mansion, a three-floor, 30-room, Greek Revival style home built in 1967, stands on approximately 18 acres in northeast Atlanta. It was designed by Georgia architect A. Thomas Bradbury and officially opened on January 1, 1968.
Lester Maddox was the first governor to live there, followed by Jimmy Carter, George Busbee, Joe Frank Harris, Zell Miller, Roy Barnes, Sonny Perdue, and Nathan Deal.
The house covers 24,000 square feet and has a total of 30 Doric columns around the porches. These columns are made from California redwoods and are each 24 feet high. They are hollowed out and specially treated on the inside to handle water drainage from the roof.
All of the rooms on the first floor are used for official entertaining. All of the furnishings in the house are considered to be museum quality and makeup one of the finest Federal Period collections in the United States. These furnishings were acquired by a 70-member fine arts committee while the Mansion was being constructed. It is a permanent collection and belongs to the state of Georgia. It does not change from one administration to the next.
The first Executive Mansion (1838-1868) was located in Milledgeville and is still open for public tours. The state capital was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta in 1868. Two years later, the state purchased the John James residence at the corner of Peachtree Street and Andrew Young Boulevard for the Governor's residence. Seventeen governors occupied this large Victorian home until it was demolished in 1923. The Westin Peachtree Plaza is now located at the site. The Henry Grady hotel was later built on that site. In 1925, the state acquired a large granite home from the estate of Edwin Ansley, located at The Prado in Ansley Park (Midtown Atlanta). That home housed 11 governors before it was vacated and demolished in 1968.
The current Governor's Mansion property once belonged to Robert Maddox (no relation to Lester Maddox), a former Atlanta mayor, who owned a large English Tudor home on the site. A fire destroyed a large part of the house and Mr. Maddox sold the property to the state. The remainder of the home was demolished and the current Governor's Mansion was built on the site.
The beautiful fountain in front of the mansion is attributed to the efforts of his wife, accomplished artist Betty Foy Sanders.
The Governor's Mansion is located at 391 West Paces Ferry Rd. NW. Public tours are conducted throughout the year on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Reservations are needed for groups of 10 or more.