California Governor Jerry Brown followed in the footsteps of his father, Edmund “Pat” Brown, when he became governor of the Golden State. Jerry Brown will again do something significant and quite rare that his dad also did when he moves into California’s Victorian-style governor’s mansion after decades of it being a vacant museum.
The governor and his wife, Anne, plan to make the move from their downtown Sacramento loft sometime in the next couple months, according to the Los Angeles Times.
It will be the first time the historic mansion will house a permanent resident since Ronald Reagan lived there for a few months in 1967 during his governorship. In total, it’s been home to 13 governors since being built in 1877. The Reagan’s departed rather abruptly after Nancy Reagan deemed the increasingly run-down living quarters a “fire trap.”
Since then it has been used primarily as a museum and historic site. That is until last January when restoration to the entire structure began. Updated electrical and plumbing systems, removal of the lead-based paint inside, and installation of fire sprinklers and security systems were just some of the $4.1 million renovation project.
Brown’s spokesman, Evan Westrup, said the project was an effort to, “make the mansion functional, safe and livable for all future governors and their families.”
It’s safe to say it did that and more. Approximately one in six Americans move to a new house every year, and a typical American moves an average of 11.7 times during his or her lifetime. When the Brown family becomes the next to do so sometime in the coming months, the new-old living space will be a far-cry from Brown’s first place of residence when he became governor for the first time in the 1970s. At that time he lived in a small apartment and slept on a mattress on the floor.
Although his father lived in the mansion for a time during his governorship in the 1960s, Brown never lived in the house growing up, though he did spend time studying for his bar exam there, according to Westrup.
Brown has used the mansion for official state events since becoming governor for the second time in 2011. He even ate dinner there with members of his administration the night he was elected for his historic fourth term.