The Louisiana Governor's Mansion has made its internet debut, with a new website featuring photos and fun facts about the first family's residence.
Welcome to the World Wide Web, GovernorsMansion.org.
The website, which was built by a University of Louisiana at Lafayette student, was formally unveiled during a ceremony at the Mansion on Tuesday, with first lady Donna Edwards guiding school children through its features. More will be added to the website in the coming weeks, she said..
Want to know how many individual pieces of marble were used to craft the intricate state seal in the home's rotunda? That and other specific details are all explained on the site. (The answer is about 2,500, but there is plenty more trivia on the history page to learn.)
Want to take a tour of the Mansion and see it for yourself? The site has that covered.
Want the latest updates on the famous Mansion chickens? You can find that under the "Scoop on the Coop" section.
A feature that is in the works will allow website visitors to search the rotunda murals for hidden items. Each Louisiana governor who has lived in the Mansion, which was built in 1963, has added something to the mural to represent their time in office. Bobby Jindal, a Rhodes Scholar, added a stack of selected books topped with the Rhodes Trust that is marked with the bill numbers of his 2012 public education overhaul package. Jimmie Davis, a musician who wrote "You Are My Sunshine," is represented by a guitar and sunflower. An seemingly out of place elephant on a pirogue represents David Treen, the first Republican elected governor in Louisiana after Reconstruction. Others can be found on the new Mansion website.
The first lady said she wanted to give people a chance to peek into the Mansion, even if they aren't able to visit in person.
"Being a mom, a parent and a teacher, just really wanting to have more people being able to see the Mansion and be a part of it," Edwards said. "To have children who can't get here for whatever reason -- that it's too far or too costly -- just to have access to their Governor's Mansion, because it is the state's home. It was important for me that other people get to see it and learn the history, because it is a very neat place."
Edwards has relaunched the Governor's Mansion Foundation, which raises money to preserve the state-owned structure and the eight-acre grounds. Edwards said she has a high school class that helps tend to the vegetable garden, LSU agriculture students have helped with the rose garden and LSU landscape architecture students are also helping with the grounds.
The Louisiana Governor's Mansion website is available at GovernorsMansion.org.