Colorado State Capitol Virtual Tour
Governor Orman in Governor's Office Ca 1901
More than a century ago, Davis Waite became the first Colorado governor to occupy the executive floor of the State Capitol. Various other departments and agencies have been located in the capitol, but the governor has always called the capitol building "home." Since 1894, thirty different governors have maintained this beautiful office.
The first territorial governor, William Gilpin, called the 2nd story of the New York Store Building on the southeast corner of Larimer and "E" Street his executive office. Later governors often chose the Equitable Building for their place of work. Each governor was given the freedom to choose the location of his office until the Capitol was finally completed in 1894.
When Governor Davis Waite moved into the Capitol that year, his office was located in what is now the reception area. The weak plaster walls were painted gray and a stenciled version of the state seal was placed on the ceiling. Bare wood covered the floor and the governor used a long work table as his desk and conference table. The reception area was a long thin corridor dominated by two chandeliers and a few leather couches. This was the luxury our states governor was to become accustomed to until the late nineteen fifties.
Governor's Reception Room
As demands on the governors staff continued to grow, his offices, along with the Legislature and Supreme Court, began to compete for limited space. By 1950, many departments had moved to other Capitol Complex buildings, allowing the Governors office staff to completely occupy and utilize the first floor of the capitol. Although the staffs needs had been met, the Governors Office itself was old, outdated, and was not modernized to reflect the honor associated with the elected post.
In 1958 Governor McNichols hired the architectural firm of Pahl-Pahl-Pahl to finally remodel the office. The aging gray walls were replaced with walnut paneling that concealed Colorados first color television and a private movie screen. The ceiling was lowered to provide the office with air conditioning and new wiring. Prisoners at the State Penitentiary hand carved a beautiful meeting table with a matching office desk. A monumental monochromatic mural hung in contrast to the brilliant gold and green hues of the offices' new shag carpet. One of the most unique features of the new carpet was the State Seal, which had been woven into the center. The governor was also provided with a private bathroom, shower, and an elegant closet.
The office was remodeled again during the Lamm Administration. The gold and green color scheme was replaced with a more patriotic red, white, and blue in honor of the bicentennial celebration. A tapestry depicting the natural beauty of Colorado replaced the black and white mural from the McNichols Administration. The State Seal was removed and given to former Governor Love, who proudly displayed it in his home.
The most recent renovation to the Governors Office occurred during the Romer Administration due to the 1992 Federal Disabilities Act. The gold shag rug was too hard to maneuver on with a wheelchair, so it was replaced. The woven state seal was removed from the carpet and hung in the reception area for public viewing. The landscape tapestry/mural was replaced with a cream material that allows the governors to display a variety of artistic mediums on a non-permanent basis. The offices persona will change and grow with each new administration that calls the room "home", but the rooms value is immortal.
Reception Room Ca 1906
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last modified October 19, 2004