Our mansion guests approach the residence by way of the entrance park. Once they arrive at the front gate, they are viewing the second of two homes to stand at 700 North Adams Street. Our mid-century home, constructed in 1955 to replace the original Governor's Mansion of 1907, is surrounded by lovely grounds that are also a highlight of any mansion visit.
Adjacent to the northern edge of the entrance park is a distinguished, antebellum home known as "the Grove." Coincidentally, the Grove is where the LeRoy Collins family resided during construction of the current mansion in 1955-1956. The Grove is still home to our former governor's widow, Mrs. LeRoy Collins. Mrs. Collins was quite frank about her apprehension as the first lady during such a monumental event as the construction of a new residence for the governor: "It belongs to every citizen in Florida... I'll admit I've lost a lot of sleep over it. I wake up at night worrying because it's not like building your own home. Here you've got a lot of people to please." Mary Call Collins, First Lady of Florida (1955-1962)
We think Mrs. Collins fears were allayed at the mansion's completion and that Floridians can be very pleased with the Governor's Mansion today! We hope you will agree.
The focal point of the park directly across the street from the mansion is the bronze sculpture, Florida's Finest. The sculpture features five life-size children and a dog playing a game of "Follow the Leader" atop three logs of a fallen tree.
The front entrance of the Governor's Mansion is marked by three flags displayed from the balcony. Each flag has a special connection to the history of the United States and Florida.