The Conservatory has been used as an informal dining area for Governors and their families since its addition to the house in 1914. The first governor to use the room called it the Conservatory, but the term “family dining room” was used in later years. Most recently, the room has been used for both formal and informal entertaining.
The Conservatory was added as part of the first structural addition to the house in 1914. Governor and Mrs. Colquitt removed the detached kitchen wing and replaced it with a large, two story, L-shaped addition that included an attached kitchen and butler’s pantry. The Conservatory replaced a covered porch, the cistern, and the entrance to the cellar.
The room was furnished plainly until the 1950’s. For many years, a large brass ceiling fan and light fixture hung in the center of the room. Mrs. Shivers decorated the room with more formality in the 1950’s, but it continued to be used primarily to host private family meals. During the 1979-1982 restoration, American Empire pieces were acquired to supplement the historic furnishings in the room and to allow for more formal entertaining.
- Jean Daniel, Price Daniel and Dorothy Blodgett. The Texas Governor’s Mansion.
Austin: Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, 1984.
- The Governor’s Mansion of Texas: A Tour of Texas’s Most Historic Home.
Austin: Friends of the Governor’s Mansion, 1997.