OK, y’all, this is another Sacramento beauty we’re circling back to in person after being here last winter with Snickers on a Stick.
The Stanford Mansion is obviously amazeballs, but we are especially smitten with this place because it’s one of few Second Empire buildings we’ve seen here. We looooooove a Mansard roof. There’s another grand Second Empire house about a block from here in the process of being restored — we can’t wait to see it when it’s done! (Sac people, know where we can find any others?)
We did a longer write-up in our original post, so here are the Cliff’s notes from outside the mansion, which we toured last week with a friend. (The inside is stunning and ornate, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures.)
Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park, a National Historic Landmark, served as the headquarters for three governors during the turbulent 1860s. Today, it is the State’s official reception center and public museum.
As a pro-Union Civil War governor and president of Central Pacific Railroad, Leland Stanford negotiated political and business deals that helped complete the transcontinental railroad. Jane Lathrop Stanford gave birth to their only child, Leland Jr., here on May 14, 1868.
The couple’s new wealth enabled them to expand the mansion in 1872, creating the architectural legacy you see today.
Jane Stanford donated the house to Sacramento’s Catholic diocese, which served children in need.
The mansion went through a $22 million renovation and opened to the public in 2005.
The inside features mostly original furniture from the Stanford’s time there. Some of the wood pieces (tables, hutches) have subtle carved train details, letting people know that’s how he made his money.