Editor's Letter: Residence Redux

Insights about this historic issue from editorial director D.J. Carey

Taxes, jobs and transportation are hot topics for governors across the country. I have a different concern—where they live. In the 1980s, I embarked on a project at 138 Eagle Street in Albany. With the help of interior designer Stanley Hura, we refreshed a suite of rooms for Governor Mario Cuomo. Fast forward to this past February.

On a bright and snowy afternoon, I pulled up in front of 990 Prospect Avenue in Hartford, the new home of our new governor and his wife—Dannel and Cathy Malloy. As I stared at this beautiful Georgian Revival house, I knew I couldn’t wait to go inside. I walked from room to room, taking in the beautiful moldings of these wonderfully proportioned rooms. It was powerful to stand in such an iconic house. But as much as I loved the architecture, most of the furnishings in these rooms needed help. Poor furniture placement made most of the rooms uncomfortable for large gatherings or an intimate dinner with friends. In essence, the rooms felt cold and had very little personality. I knew the house deserved better; I knew the governor and his wife deserved better; I knew the people of Connecticut deserved better.

Having worked on public and historic houses that cost nothing to taxpayers gave me the insight on how to polish this diamond in the rough. I knew that by bringing many, many players into the mix, our state could have an official residence that would showcase the great talent here. Interior designers chose rooms; generous donations of goods and services from manufacturers, artisans, workrooms, retailers, painters, carpenters, plumbers and electricians flowed forth. Work began: Sketches were submitted, colors chosen, fabrics stitched, walls painted. In the end, a magnificent house became a home.

I would like to thank the Governor’s Residence Conservancy that owns and operates the mansion and property for its support. In addition, I am grateful for the enthusiasm and genuine interest of Governor and Mrs. Malloy whose collective vision for the public spaces in the Residence was that of a younger, modern family in a traditional home. If it were not for the staff at the Residence working under the loving eye of Executive Director Carol O’Shea, none of this would have been possible, especially not in six months. I am so proud to share this iconic house with all of you. I am sure you will take as much pride as I do in the results. It truly is the People’s House: your house. Now go visit.