This old house: Buckets, tarps deployed at executive mansion

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Talk about a state of disrepair. Not only are pensions and the budget in need of a major overhaul, but so is Illinois’ 160-year-old executive mansion. And it’s finally getting it.

Workers have started patching eight leaks in the roof at the mansion after Gov. Pat Quinn approved the emergency repairs.

The amount of money spent on the repairs won’t exceed $40,000 and will cover inspectors, patching damaged sections and repairing damage to interior rooms. That damage is to four rooms on the mansion’s third floor. Officials expect work to be done in a few weeks.

“It’s a careful balancing act of preserving the historic character of the building, keeping it available to the public and keeping it open for rentals, which support the operation of the building,” Quinn spokesman Dave Blanchette told The State Journal-Register.

Tarps cover the floor and furniture in the mansion’s Lincoln bedroom and plaster is visible with a bucket underneath to catch any falling debris, the newspaper reported.

State officials said the damage isn’t affecting public tours.

“The public, when they tour the mansion, won’t know there’s anything amiss,” Blanchette said.

Plans for a major rehabilitation of the mansion are on hold while more urgent financial issues are addressed, Blanchette said. That renovation would include brick work, trim repairs and a new elevator. Blanchette estimates those costs at a “couple million” dollars.

“There are other priorities for the money right now, the chief of which is, the winter was extremely hard on the roads, and the Illinois Department of Transportation maintenance facilities are getting priority,” he said. “You can’t pay for everything at once. You have to prioritize what project gets done next.”

Really though, it could be worse. When one thing goes wrong with an older home, lots of things usually go wrong:

Via The Associated Press, The State Journal-Register

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