Arnold Schwarzenegger is looking for a new place to park the Hum-Vee. The California Governator has made some serious inquiries into buying Ronald Reagan’s old mansion, listed for sale at $5.9 million.

The 11-acre property in Carmichael, Calif., is about 10 miles east of Sacramento. The 9,900-square-foot, one-story home has eight bedrooms, seven full baths, two half-baths, a pool, grand ballroom and three-car garage.

The Reagan family never occupied the mansion, which is for sale by a private owner through Dunnigan Sierra Oaks realty.

California hasn’t had an official governor’s residence since Reagan moved from the historic home in Sacramento in 1967 because of safety and health concerns with the aging property. The Reagans rented a home in east Sacramento on 45th St. and lived there throughout the governor’s term.

Reagan’s supporters purchased the site in Carmichael with private funds with the goal of constructing a new governor’s mansion. Builders finished the $1.3 million construction of the mansion in 1975 after the end of Reagan’s second term.

Gov. Jerry Brown chose not to live in the new Carmichael residence and instead lived in a downtown state-owned apartment building. The mansion remained unoccupied until 1983 when it was sold for $1.5 million.

The governor at that time, George Deukmejian, lived in a suburban ranch-style house in the Wilhaggin area of Sacramento. But the 4,000-square-foot home lacked sufficient space to accommodate a large number of guests. The home’s traditional neighborhood created security, parking and logistical issues.

Legislators in 1981 proposed that the state conduct a study to assess moving the old governor’s mansion on H St. in Sacramento to a site on 15th and N St. or remodeling the Dean Apartments at 14th and N Streets for a governor’s residence. The state never adopted the proposal.

Between 1982 and 1987, several legislative proposals sought to evaluate construction of a governor’s residence and executive offices across from the east end of Capitol Park. None of these measures ever passed.

The first official governor’s residence was constructed in 1870 in Capitol Park for $50,000. But since funding was never secured for home furnishings, no governor ever occupied that residence. The building instead served as the State Printing Plant until it was torn down about 50 years later.

The state purchased the second official governor’s residence–the home later abandoned by the Reagans–in 1903. The $32,000 home was located at 1526 H St. in Sacramento. Thirteen first families lived there. The historic home today is a state park and museum owned by the Department of Parks and Recreation.


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