Manatee Courtyard

The focal point of the Manatee Courtyard is a bronze sculpture depicting five graceful manatees. It was commissioned in 1990 by the Florida Governor’s Mansion Foundation during the tenure of Governor and Mrs. Bob Martinez. During that era the sculpture drew attention to the beauty of Florida’s state mammal which at the time was in danger of extinction. Since then, thousands of Florida schoolchildren have visited and delighted in this native mammal and have advocated for its protection.

The garden’s lovely patio area, including the koi pond and fountain for Manatee Dance, provides a refreshing, relaxing outdoor space during receptions and tours.

Manatee Dance Sculpture

Manatee Dance - detail

Artist Hugh Nicholson of Tallahassee, Florida created this bronze sculpture entitled Manatee Dance for the Mansion Courtyard in 1990. It was the first major piece of artwork to be commissioned exclusively for the mansion grounds. The smaller photo reveals the manner in which the artist sculpted the bronze to create many fascinating details unique to the manatee, such as belly buttons and nostrils.