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Lower Level


This space was renovated in 1989. The leaking and crumbling foundation wall was repaired, wainscoting replaced, new hardwood floors laid, a coatroom and wheelchair accessible bathrooms added and improvements were made to the lighting and ventilation system. Updates to the conference room and family room were also made during the Carlson administration. The majority of furniture in the foyer is original to the home.

Family Room

The Family Room, with its large-screen television, is a popular place for the family and guests to watch favorite programs. The breakfront holds memorabilia of former governors, as well as items that are representative of the current administration. While many mementos of governors are visible here, one family really left its mark: the Rolvaag’s beagle Leo left his paw prints in the newly-poured concrete slab in the basement. The workmen liked the dog so much, they let the prints stay.  But when the LeVanders moved in in 1966, they were not informed of this, and thought that a dog had been buried under the concrete slab. The Irvines used the space as a party room, and the children hosted dances with live bands.

The pool table was a gift to the Residence after Mrs. Ventura beat Tipper Gore in a game of pool. During the Ventura administration, Mrs. Ventura also invited the producers of the HGTV show Decorating Cents to give the family room a makeover for $500. You can see pictures of their changes on their website.

Conference Room

The Conference Room provides seating for 20 people and is used frequently. On the north wall is a collection of photographs of Minnesota’s First Ladies started by Gretchen Quie. All but two photos of the former First Ladies are represented here.

The 1006 Summit Avenue Society was instrumental in providing funds to refurbish the Conference Room and now holds its monthly board meetings here.


A tunnel connects the residence to the carriage house. The Irvine grandchildren recall the annual Christmas game of creeping through the tunnel with the lights off. Wendell Anderson’s children used the tunnel to reach the nanny who lived in the carriage house.

There are additional storage areas and service rooms on this level. They have had different uses including sauna and darkroom.