On this week’s Tennessee Crossroads, airing on Thursday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday 23 at 10:00 a.m., Ken Wilshire visits with First Lady Andrea Conte for a tour of the renovated Governor’s Mansion. Originally built for the William Ridley Wills Family in 1929, the mansion began a major renovation in 2003 under Conte’s leadership. Now completed, original architectural features in disrepair have been restored, and a number of contemporary updates of been added. Most importantly, the mansion is compliant with the American With Disabilities Act.
A major addition is Conservation Hall, a meeting and entertaining space under the residence. Designed to accommodate up to 160 people for a seated function and uses the natural insulating properties of the earth to keep operation costs down. An atrium fills the facility with natural light. There is art from the Tennessee State Museum, Residence and private collections, including displays of historic photos and other memorabilia.
A number of green initiatives were also implemented throughout the residence, including the recycling of wood materials, roof tiles and flooring into art by local artisans. For more information on the residence. visit the First Lady’s site at Tennessee.gov.
But wait! Don’t go anywhere after your tour of the mansion. After Wilshire’s visit with the First Lady on the show, Rob Wilds and Tennessee Crossroads will take you to the restored Capitol Theatre in Maryville; Joe Elmore will introduce you to world-renowned artist David Wright in Gallatin who uses his talent to bring images of the frontier days to the people of today; and Tressa Bush will drop in for dinner and some music at the Sutton General Store in Granville.