History

The Governor’s Mansion Foundation is a private, non-profit organization that honors the historical and cultural importance of the Washington State Governor’s Mansion by maintaining furnishings and art for the home, educating the public about the Mansion, and advocating on behalf of the state’s executive residence.

The Foundation has its roots in an earlier organization founded in 1969, but officially traces its beginnings to 1972 when the State of Washington was planning major repairs and additions to the historic Governor’s Mansion. While the Legislature was willing to fund the structural work, there was no public money appropriated for furnishings. The Foundation was established to raise funds and obtain furnishings for the public rooms of the house. Between 1972 and 1975, under the leadership of Foundation Chair Laurene Gandy and First Lady Nancy Bell Evans, the Foundation acquired a collection of antique furnishings and other assets valued then at $350,000.

The Foundation continues to own and maintain these furnishings, repairing or replacing them when necessary. GMF has also added a considerable number of art pieces to its collection over the past four decades, and has conducted public tours of the house since 1975.