CHICAGO (CBS) — The project is almost completed.
The multi-million dollar renovations at the Governor’s Mansion are just about finished.
CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley went on a tour of the building to get a sneak peek.
The goal of the two-year long mansion renovation: to transform a deteriorating eyesore into a shining beacon.
“The building was severely run down and parts of it were uninhabitable,” says Laura Hochuli of Vinci Architects.
The original mansion dates from 1855.
But the biggest problems were found in a 20,000 foot 1972 addition.
“You could no longer enter any porches. The wood had deteriorated. The stairs deteriorated,” says Hochuli.
Going forward for visitors, the renovated old mansion will tell the history of Illinois thru the governors who lived here.
The grand circular staircase, the stunning formal dining room that seats 28 with its ornate, 19th century mirrors.
Also, the intimate bedrooms and its grand sitting rooms.
“The Governor and the First Lady made a promise,” says Justin Blandford, Superintendent of State Historic Sites. “They wanted to restore the symbol of leadership in Illinois, and this is them making good on that promise.”
The grand opening is set for July 14.
With one completely new asset: for the first time the mansion will be accessible for those with disabilities.