JEFFERSON CITY — Although he already owns a home in the capital city, Gov.-elect Jay Nixon plans to move across town into the Governor's Mansion.
Nixon is to take office Monday as governor. For the past 16 years, he has served as the state's attorney general, who by law must live "at the seat of government" and work in the Supreme Court building.
There is no requirement that the governor live full-time — or even part-time — in the state-owned mansion one block from the Capitol.
Outgoing Gov. Matt Blunt, for example, has split his time between the Governor's Mansion and his own home in Springfield, which he has said is more comfortable than the mansion. First lady Melanie Blunt also has spearheaded a renovation of the mansion during their tenure there.
Nixon said Tuesday that he does not know yet whether he and his wife, Georganne, will try to sell their Jefferson City home. But they plan to spend inauguration night in the official mansion and then move their belongings there.
"It's a great symbol for the state and has a rich historic tradition that Georganne and I are excited to join," Nixon said Tuesday. "We're looking forward to it."
The red brick, Renaissance revival-style mansion was completed in 1871 and has three floors, the first of which is open for public tours and is used for entertaining guests.
That means the governor and his family essentially live on the second floor, which amounts to a roughly 2,600-square-foot apartment.
That would be a smaller living space than Nixon's current home, which has 4,650 square feet, according to Cole County property records. But Nixon, who has one son in college and another who is a high school senior, said he isn't worried about the comparable living space.
"Living there, receiving guests there, being seen there is part of what I view as the responsibility of the chief executive of the state — to welcome people to the people's house," Nixon said.