December 23, 2008

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Tourism Department

Governor's Mansion Tours Draw 4,000

MONTGOMERY -- An estimated 4,000 people toured the Alabama Governor's Mansion during a series of open house events and parties in December, First Lady Patsy Riley said.


Tours on three successive Monday nights attracted crowds of 550, 650 and 1,000 respectively, with another 1,200 invited guests touring on Dec. 13, she said. Other events were smaller gatherings.


The free tours have become a holiday tradition since the Rileys moved into the mansion in 2003, but this year was the first time that visitors toured the recently renovated Farley-Hill House next door.


Gen. and Mrs. Robert L. Ligon built the Perry Street residence in 1907. Two years later Mrs. Ligon's sister built an equally impressive residence next door. The Farley-Hill House was acquired by the State of Alabama several years ago and restored with private funds raised by Mrs. Riley.


The Farley house will be used for teas, club meetings and social events arranged through Mrs. Riley's office, officials said.


Profits from Mrs. Riley's cookbook will be used to purchase additional furnishings, she said. "When the Dinner Bell Rings at the Governor's Mansion" is available at book stores throughout the state.


The Halcyon Choir, Monroeville Choir, Birmingham Boys Choir and students from Booker T. Washington High School and harpist Abigail Grant performed during the public tours, Mrs. Riley said.


The Ligon house has been the residence of Alabama governors since 1951.



Media contact: Edith Parten  334-242-4537



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