Completed in 1839, Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion is one of the finest examples of High Greek Revival architecture in the nation. Designed by noted architect Charles Cluskey, an Irish immigrant and built by Timothy Porter of Farmington, Connecticut, the Mansion looms over Milledgeville with its stately columns and imposing facade. Serving as the residence for Georgia's chief executives for over thirty years, the Mansion's history encompasses the antebellum, Civil War, and early Reconstruction phases of the state's history. Such noted state leaders as George Crawford, Howell Cobb and Joseph E. Brown resided in the building and used it as a stage for speeches and also to introduce guests of national standing. Georgia's Old Governor’s Mansion also served as a stage on which many elements of the complex social issues of the antebellum period were played out. Slavery and the complexity of society and gender roles are among the issues that shape the history of the building and are explored in tandem with the issues of politics. During the Civil War, the Mansion was claimed as a "prize" in the "March to the Sea," when General William T. Sherman headquartered in the building on November 23, 1864. Following the war, Georgia's seat of government was relocated to Atlanta, and the Mansion was abandoned. Given over to Georgia Normal & Industrial College (currently known as Georgia College) in 1889, the Mansion served as the founding building of the institution and is the campus's most treasured structure.
The Mansion is open for public tours Tuesday thru Saturday, 10-4, and Sunday, 2-4 with tours every hour on the hour. The Mansion is fully ADA-compliant and has an elevator that accesses all three levels of the house. Admission rates: $10 for Adults, $7 for pre-booked adult groups, $7 for Senior Citizens (60 years and older), $2 for Students, and Free to children under 6 and all GC faculty, staff, and students! Georgia's Old Governor’s Mansion was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973 and is an accredited museum of the American Alliance of Museums. In 2015, the Mansion was named an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.