Last year’s Homes of Governors slideshow featured the homes of governors from the East Coast (Charles Edison, former governor of New Jersey) to the West (Arnold Schwarzenegger, former governor of California); from the distant past (South Carolina’s Edward Rutledge, a signer of the Declaration of Independence), and one home that had housed 17 South Dakota governors.
This year’s edition includes the homes of contemporary governors including one who built his own home (also from South Dakota) as well as one well-known figure from the past who designed his own home. We have primary governor residences and a pair of vacation homes. Sometimes, as seen in the following slides, these homes are also the sites of press conferences and protests.
By Colleen Kane
Posted 9 July 2012
Square footage: 3,817
This is the house where FBI wiretaps helped cook Rod Blagojevich’s goose, the house that Patti Blagojevich posted as collateral for bond when her husband was awaiting sentencing on corruption charges, and the site of multiple news conferences since then. Earlier this year, Rod Blagojevich left this home to begin his 14-year prison term.
The home was on the market for $1.07 million in October, and the price then dropped to $998,000, still about double the price they paid in 1999. The home has three fireplaces, a library, music room and a gym. It was temporarily taken off the market this spring, with Patti Blagojevich citing the stress and upheaval of her husband’s jail term as the reason.
Location: Mendham, N.J.
Price: $1.677 million estimated value
Square footage: 6,979
The cantankerous governor of New Jersey is one of the most recognizable state leaders and has been mentioned as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney. His family home on 6 hilltop acres in Mendham was built in 1959.
Christie opted to make the 50-mile commute to the State House from Mendham, rather than move into Drumthwacket, the official governor’s mansion, in Princeton, so he didn’t have to pull his kids out of school, according to The New York Times. However, he told the Times in 2009 that his wife, Mary Pat, planned a weekly family dinner at Drumthwacket, so that the family could have dinner together at least once a week.
Location: Garretson, S.D.
Price: see below
Square footage: N/A
Republican South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard built this energy-efficient house himself. In an address to the South Dakota Rural Electric Association, Daugaard described taking inspiration from President Jimmy Carter’s 1977 fireside chat mentioning the need for energy efficiency.
In the ’80s while Daugaard worked as a banker by day, he built the house on the family farmstead on nights and weekends. It cost about a cost of about $60,000 at the time, and during the nine-month building process, Dennis and his wife, Linda, lived with his parents.
The home’s walls are “super insulated” at 13 inches thick. The home uses a heat pump water heater, which cools and dehumidifies. Instead of dumping heat outside, it channels the heat in the water heater. The structure has no west-facing windows to avoid heat buildup during hot summer days, and has only one north window “because that’s an energy loser.”
Most of the home’s windows face south. The home’s overhang is designed for its latitude, so that the low-hanging winter sun comes in house in winter, while in summer the overhang shades it.
Location: Park City, Utah
Price: $44 million
Square footage: 22,000
Former Utah governor and onetime GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman purchased a Federal brick house in D.C. in 2010. But his philanthropist father, Jon Huntsman Sr., has a remarkable ski home on the market that certainly has more than enough room for Jon Jr., his wife, Mary Kaye Cooper, their seven children, and then some.
Previously listed for $49.5 million, the mansion on 60 acres is a rustic private resort. Features include a gym, indoor pool and hot tub with views, game room with views, decks with sunset mountain views, a collector’s garage for about 20 cars and a castle-length dining room table.
Location: Richmond, Mass.
Square footage: 7,500
Gov. Deval Patrick keeps this vacation home in the Berkshires region in western Massachusetts. Sweet P Farm sits on 77 acres and includes a tennis court, pool and cabana. Patrick and his wife, Diane, moved into the newly built house in 2006.
They put their Milton “empty nest” residence of 20 years on the market in 2009 for $1.9 million and despite a number of stints on and off at different prices, it has not sold.
Location: Warwick, R.I.
Bathrooms: 2 full, 1 partial
Square footage: 3,024
The Exeter compound of Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee recently made headlines when his 18 year-old son hosted a graduation party that resulted in an intoxicated underage guest being hospitalized.
The Chafees sold their seven-bedroom Providence home in 2011 for $675,000. Another one of the Chafee homes, pictured here, is on the Greenwich Bay waterfront in Warwick.
Location: Lebanon, Pa.
Square footage: 5,820
Thomas Jefferson wore many hats: governor of Virginia, author of the Declaration of Independence, the second vice president and of course, the third president of the United States. As if that was not an impressive enough resume, he also designed buildings, like his own home, Monticello.
This is another house Jefferson designed. It was built in 1813 and now serves as a bed and breakfast called the Millstream Farm Inn. It’s on 12 acres with formal gardens and a stream called Bachman’s Run with a covered bridge.
Location: Wauwatosa, Wis.
Bathrooms: 2 full, 1 partial
Square footage: 2,152
This home of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been the site of multiple protests, including a We Are Milwaukee-organized recall rally last November.
The two-story house in Wauwatosa, which is located just to the west of Milwaukee, was built in 1924 on a quarter of an acre.