There are many perks of office awaiting Governor-elect Charlie Baker. But unlike the chief executives in most states, alas, he will not get a fancy mansion. Massachusetts has no official governor’s residence, despite some attempts to establish one in the past. The Shirley-Eustis House in Roxbury was under consideration in the 1950s, but the governor at the time turned it down. And in the 1960s, Governor John Volpe had a plan to turn the Endicott Estate in Dedham into a home for governors — a plan abandoned by his successor.
Too bad Baker didn’t win the governorship of, say, Alaska or Hawaii or even Connecticut, jobs that all come with impressive — if temporary — homes. Here’s a look at some of the loveliest:
The Wisconsin Executive Residence comes with a view of Lake Mendota. It’s 16,000 square feet, with 34 rooms, including seven bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, and seven gardens. The state purchased the home in 1949 for $47,500.
The Connecticut Governor’s Residence, originally built for a noted Hartford physician, was designed in the Georgian Revival Style. It was acquired by the state of Connecticut in 1943, although the switch didn’t get off to a smooth start. Governor Raymond Baldwin invited the public in for tea and a look around. Five thousand guests showed up, but the governor had strained his back and was unable to get out of bed to greet them.
The Alaska Governor’s Mansion in Juneau, constructed in the early 20th century, is nearly 15,000 square feet. It has 26 rooms and 10 bathrooms. There are six bedrooms and eight fireplaces. Its first occupant: Territorial Governor Walter Eli Clark in 1912.
Government House, the official Maryland governor’s residence, for better or worse, is just across the street from the State House. It’s been the official home of the governor since 1870. Among the dignitaries who have stopped by for a visit: Mark Twain, Queen Elizabeth, and Sugar Ray Leonard.
The Hawaii Governor’s Mansion in Honolulu has a royal past. Before becoming home to the governor, it was home to Queen Lili’uokalani and the Hawaiian Kingdom. The governor today lives in a home built behind the historic mansion; both are used regularly for official events.
Drumthwacket, the New Jersey governor’s mansion, is, curiously, not located in Trenton, the state capital, but close by in Princeton, N.J. The name, in Scots-Gaelic, means “wooded hill.” Construction began in 1835. The state purchased Drumthwacket in 1966 and made it the official governor’s residence in 1981.