Photo Credit: Eric Hausman
The Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association is excited that the People’s House reopened to the public on July 14th, 2018. We would like to thank our donors, board members and volunteers who dedicated their time and resources to this important project that brings the history of Illinois back to life in the renovated mansion.
In February 2015, construction began to completely renovate the Illinois Governor’s Mansion, funded entirely with private dollars. The renovation focused on structural repairs and construction updates, it was also an opportunity to focus on the visitor experience, truly making the Mansion the people’s house for Illinois residents. Complete with dedicated art spaces, expanded programming, full accessibility for visitors and a focus on Illinois’ rich history, the Illinois Governor’s Mansion is open seven days a week.
The renovated Governor’s Mansion will be a breathtaking experience for visitors – from new construction and pristine landscaping, to art exhibitions and an enhanced visitor center, the Mansion renovation offers countless new features, including:
The Visitor Experience
The Illinois Governor’s Mansion renovation project focused on elevating the visitor experience. New features include:
Full ADA accessibility for the first time in history
Professionally trained docents for guided tours
An all-new visitor center and short orientation video
Rooms dedicated specifically to historic events, including the Columbian Exposition and Past Illinois Governors and families
Art Exhibition Space
A dedicated space for art exhibits is part of the fabric of the newly renovated Governor’s Mansion. The inaugural exhibition, Art in Illinois, brings together over 80 works of art from Illinois based artists, 20 of which are never before seen privately owned pieces on loan.
The Illinois Governor’s Mansion renovation seeks to expand educational opportunities for visitors. With professionally trained staff and volunteers available to host groups and assist in planning events outside of regular hours, the Mansion is also capable of hosting groups for programming outside of regular hours.
The People's house is open daily from 1 - 4 pm.
In Appreciation: First Lady Diana Rauner (2015 – 2019)
The Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association extends its profound and enduring appreciation to former First Lady Diana Rauner for her leadership during the renovation and for positioning the Mansion for its exciting new beginning at the dawn of Illinois’ third century of statehood.
Mrs. Rauner spearheaded the three-year, $15 million privately-funded renovation that included interior and exterior repairs, a new Visitors Center, and a first-of-its-kind Art of Illinois exhibit featuring more than 100 pieces of fine and decorative arts, as well as industrial arts, generously loaned by museums, organizations and individuals across Illinois, including the Chicago History Museum, the Illinois Legacy Collection at the Illinois State Museum, and the Peoria Riverfront Museum.
Thanks to Mrs. Rauner’s leadership, the Mansion received a LEED Silver designation through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, the world’s most widely used green building rating system. A number of upgrades were made to improve the building’s energy efficiency, including replacing all plumbing fixtures with water-saving fixtures, installing LED lamping and replacing or rebuilding existing air-handling units to decrease energy usage.
The renovation of the Mansion was completed on-time and on-budget, culminating in a grand re-opening on July 14, 2018. From start to finish, First Lady Diana Rauner led the renovation with her characteristic diligence, grace, and humility. Her legacy will be defined by generations of Illinois families, students and visitors from around the world being able to experience and enjoy the Illinois Governor’s Mansion for decades to come as a result of her vision for the preservation of the People’s House.