Governor's Mansion

Also known as: Executive Mansion
Capitol Sq., Richmond, Virginia


Street Views 


Completed in 1813, the Virginia Executive Mansion bears the distinction of being the oldest, continuously occupied governor's residence in the United States. Boston architect Alexander Parris designed the Federal style residence and construction was undertaken by Christopher Tompkins. Parris' square plan included a wide center hall with beautifully detailed arches, plaster frieze and two stairways, a wide principal stair and a narrower service stair. The Executive Mansion is an elegant Federal structure. Embellished with three porches, the front or west entry is the most ornate. Corinthian columns, paneled double doors, side lights and transom adorned with mullioned tracery are typical of the Federal style. The hip roof culminates in a balustraded "captain's walk" framed by a double pair of chimneys. Parris' plan was enlarged in 1906 with an elliptical dining room addition designed by Duncan Lee, a Richmond architect. Also, at the same time, a large ballroom was created by removing the rear center hall partitions and replacing them with stately columns. Another major change came in 1958 with the addition of a library and a breakfast room at the rear, east end. Originally occupying a prominent knoll intended to give the occupants a view of the James River, the mansion now sits on "Captiol Square," surrounded by tall buildings. Its serene beauty, however, has been retained by stately gardens, bordered by English boxwood, dogwood, holly and magnolia. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS VA-1242)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 4, 1969
Reference number
Architectural style
Areas of significance
Politics/Government; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Secondary structure
Current functions
Single dwelling; Secondary structure
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1800-1824; 1825-1849; 1925-1949
Significant years
1811; 1813; 1926
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 3
Non-contributing buildings: 1

Update Log 

  • May 4, 2017: New Street View added by Michael Miller

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