The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

November 4, 2013

Successful fundraising helps spruce Terrace Hill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Shiny new kitchen equipment, a modern furnace and fresh paintwork are among the recent updates at the historic Iowa governor's mansion thanks to a successful fundraising campaign.

Just over $2 million has been pledged to a fundraising effort led by the Terrace Hill Foundation for improvements and to establish an endowment for the Victorian mansion donated to the state in 1971 for use as the official governor's residence. The fundraising has exceeded the $1.6 million goal set two years ago, and several key renovation projects have already been completed.

"It turned out better than we thought," said Barbara Filer, the Terrace Hill administrator, who has worked on and off at the mansion since 1988.

Not all the improvements to the three-story building perched on a hill just outside downtown Des Moines are visible to the public eye. About $700,000 went to fully redo the basement kitchen, which had seen little improvement since the 1970s. A new energy-efficient heating and cooling system cost $1.3 million— an expense that was shared with the state. Those updates were long overdue, said Filer.

"The Branstads love to have people visit here. They love to entertain," she noted Friday, as the mansion was being put to rights after a Halloween bash the previous night.

Some more esthetically pleasing improvements include repairing plaster walls and repainting traditional stenciled wall art in the dining room and an upstairs hall. On deck for the future are new storm windows for the first floor and bathroom updates in the basement level.

Filer said the fundraising dollars were essential because the state only budgets about $500,000 annually for upkeep and staffing at the mansion. Some additional funding goes to two household employees.

"We've been conservative with state money," Filer said. But she noted that the house is a special place to many Iowa residents. "Everybody loves it. It's one of the neatest houses in the state of Iowa and we're very proud of it."

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Montana man will head Iowa schools for deaf, blind COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Board of Regents has named a Montana man as superintendent of the state's schools for the deaf and sight impaired. The regents announced Wednesday the board had selected Steven J. Gettel to head the Iowa School fo

    April 24, 2014

  • Senate renews effort to legalize medical marijuana DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A renewed effort to legalize the use of a form of marijuana to treat chronic epilepsy won bipartisan support Wednesday in the Iowa Senate. A three-member subcommittee, then the full Senate Ways and Means Committee, approved a

    April 24, 2014

  • Iowa man accused of torturing, killing bald eagle DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man has been charged with torturing and killing a bald eagle. A federal grand jury in Des Moines returned an indictment Wednesday against Jason John Thomas. An affidavit filed by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invest

    April 24, 2014

  • Woman pleads not guilty to fatal 2012 Iowa crash SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Le Mars woman has pleaded not guilty to two charges stemming from a fatal 2012 hit-and-run crash in Sioux City. Online court records say 43-year-old Victoria Ernst Moreno made the written pleas on Wednesday to vehicular homi

    April 24, 2014

  • Woman charged with arson in Mason City blaze MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 32-year-old Mason City woman is accused of setting a fire in an apartment building. The Mason City Globe Gazette says (http://bit.ly/1iKnJhy ) Jacque Paulsen is charged with felony arson. Online jail records say Paulsen rema

    April 24, 2014

  • Iowa House, Senate OK higher ed funding increase DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House and Senate have approved an education budget that should let higher education officials freeze tuition for a second-straight year. The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1nHF2k9 ) both chambers approve

    April 24, 2014

  • Iowa officer wounded in gun range accident HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) — A northern Iowa police officer is recovering from hand surgery following an accidental shooting at a gun range. The Hampton Police Department says the accident occurred last week during night handgun qualification. The department

    April 23, 2014

  • Crime not suspected in a West Des Moines death WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Investigators don't think a crime was involved in the death of a Clive woman whose body was found next to a burning car in West Des Moines. Police say officers found the body Sunday morning when they arrived at the scene

    April 23, 2014

  • Officials ID body found in burning Iowa field ONEIDA, Iowa (AP) — Officials have released the name of a 78-year-old woman whose body was found by firefighters battling a blaze in a northeast Iowa field. She was identified as Generose "Genny" Bennett, of Oneida. The Greeley Fire Department respon

    April 23, 2014

  • Iowa delays plan to move inmates out of old prison FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Corrections is delaying plans to close the 175-year-old Iowa State Penitentiary after discovering problems in the heating and cooling system in its $132 million replacement. The department said Tuesday

    April 23, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National