You are here

West Virginia Executive Mansion

-A A +A
1924–1925, Walter F. Martens. 1946. North side of Kanawha Blvd. E., west of the state capitol
  • West Virginia Executive Mansion
  • West Virginia Executive Mansion
  • West Virginia Executive Mansion

This Neo-Georgian brick mansion verges on the Adamesque or Federal Revival in its chaste details and proportions. A pedimented portico, its attenuated columns modeled after those of the Temple of the Winds in Athens, a particularly delicate variant of the Corinthian order, centers the facade. Tall first-floor windows with decorative stone surrounds front a terrace that connects the portico with a sunroom on the west and an open porch on the east. Above the second-floor cornice, a solid balustrade hid a temporary flat roof until 1946, when the present dormered mansard roof was added, following original plans. Inside, a formal double stairway and various reception rooms define the first floor. Family quarters are above.

The site for the mansion was purchased in 1921, before the selection of a site for the state capitol, and it was a fortuitous circumstance that the two buildings were erected side by side. As Cass Gilbert was concurrently working on plans for the capitol when Martens was engaged on the mansion, the two conferred to ensure that the buildings would be compatible. Gilbert had sketched his ideas for the mansion before the meeting, and their proposals proved to be uncannily alike.

The Governor's Mansion, as it is popularly called, provides a dignified setting for formal affairs and a comfortable residence for the state's chief executive. Mrs. Ephraim F. Morgan, West Virginia's first lady when the house was being planned and built, is generally credited with the successful and harmonious way in which it accommodates its two main functions.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,