Santa Clara Governor's House
|Architectural style||Mid-century modern|
|Location||Santa Clara, Santa Clara|
|Address||2000 Calle de Primavera|
|Design and construction|
Old Governor's House
The old Governor's House was constructed South 2nd Street in San Jose in 1887-9, a fairly large Victorian mansion. It was remodeled in 1922, but to fairly poor standards in a measure to save costs. By the 1970s it was in need of significant restoration and city planners had determined the cost would be excessive when compared to the house's value and recommended it be sold or rebuilt, but tight funds saw that it was only quickly fixed to keep it going some time longer..
In 1953, British born Sierran politician Harry Douglas (1921-2004) bought a lot on Calle de Primavera to eventually build a house. He hired architect Franklin Bourdet to build a modern single-story house, but with a central courtyard to evoke historic Spanish colonial houses.
Use as an official residence
Douglas became governor of Santa Clara in 1971, and until the end of his term in 1975 he used that as his de-facto official residence. Upon leaving office, Douglas stated he would give the house to be used as a new governor's residence whenever his wife were to pass away for half the original value of the house.
Barbara Douglas died in 1988, whereupon the house was sold for $14,450. There was some outcry over abandoning the historic governor's house, but most voters rejected pumping money into it once they discovered the magnitude of the work and cost required to make it habitable. The house was renovated in 1989, whereupon the current governor moved in.