After 10 months of work, the governor’s suite is finally finished. It’s part of the massive state Capitol renovation project. The governor moves in next week, but News 9 got a look at his new digs Monday.
The roughly $260 million restoration project is right on schedule and what is possibly the crown jewel of the project, the governor’s office, is finally complete.
The tour began in the reception area.
“This is where the original waiting room was behind this wall. We’ve infilled this and there are offices behind this. And opposite of this is the new waiting room, and the reason we did this is because we’ve discovered in the demolition process that there’s original historic ceilings in this waiting room and original marble floor,” said State Capitol Project Manager Trait Thompson.
The desks throughout the building will be walnut with black granite. The governor’s large conference room saw a major overhaul.
“There was carpet glued to the floor. There was a drop in fake cloud ceiling in here. That obscured the original historic plaster ceiling,” said Thompson.
“We’ve added modern lighting for the governor to do press conferences,” said Thompson. “The light fixtures are original to the building. They have been completely restored and refurbished and rewired for LED.”
Those light fixtures are more than 100 years old.
The most dramatic change is the governor’s office.
“Before we had carpet in here. And now, we’ve put in a hand laid parquet wood floor. We also wanted it to be an impressive place for the visitors and dignitaries that the governor receives so that it pts forth a positive image of Oklahoma,” said Thompson.
While these new walls are impressive, it’s what’s found behind them that’s really cool. For example, signatures like one on the original duct work, and Governor Bellmon left his mark with a business card, and there’s a newspaper article hidden in a wall from the 1980s.
Governor Stitt and his staff are leaving their own mark -- a hard hat signed by the staff, hidden deep in a wall. They hope someone finds it long after they’re are all gone.
“It really does remind you that there were people working here in 1916, 1917 who had a lot of pride in what they were doing. And just like they did, we have a lot of pride in what we’re doing. So, when you find a name inscribed behind a wall and it’s dated, it really makes you think about all the people who came before us,” said Thompson.