Zian Presidential Mansion

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Zian Presidential Mansion
Bruxels April 2012-4.jpg
ResidenceFamily of the President of Zamastan
SeatTofino, Zamastan

The Zian Presidential Mansion, also known as the "President's Palace", the "President's House", and the "Executive Mansion", serves as the Tofino residence and administrative headquarters the President of Zamastan. The site was built upon what was originally the home of the Skithan imperial governor of the Zamastan colony and was selected by the first President, Tomias Hapson, as the official residence. The building went through extensive expansions, beginning in 1815. The building was finished in 1837. Every president since Hapson has lived there. Tyler Kordia officially gave the Zian Presidential Mansion its current name in 1939. The palace grounds are located on the southeastern end of Gaviria Park.

Facilities that are available to the president include access to the Mansion's staff, medical care, recreation, housekeeping, and security services. The federal government pays for state dinners and other official functions, but the president pays for personal, family, and guest dry cleaning and food. The modern-day Presidential Mansion complex includes the Executive Residence, North Wing, South Wing (containing the Gaviria Office), the Debois Executive Office Building—the former State Department, which now houses offices for the president's staff, and Saneau House, a guest residence. The Executive Residence is made up of six stories—the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement. In 2017, it was ranked second on the Zamastanian Institute of Architects list of "Zamastan's Favorite Architecture", narrowly beaten by the Congressional Hall Capitol Building.

The palace is often at the centre of state occasions and hospitality. It has been a focal point for the Zamastanian people at times of national rejoicing and mourning. The state rooms, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public each year for most of August and September and on some days in winter and spring. The palace has 775 rooms, and the garden is the largest private garden in Tofino.


The Palace in 1852

Governor's Palace

The first building on the hill was constructed between the second half of the 17th and first half of the 18th century. At that time, it looked like a fortified castle forming a part of the fortifications of the Settlement of Tofino. It was the home of the Skithan imperial governors who also resided in the city. In the following century, it was rebuilt, extended, and improved, in line with the increased prestige of the imperial governors.

This impressive complex suffered several fires over the centuries. In 1767, a fire destroyed part of the roof. A large fire that broke out on 3 February 1771 almost completely destroyed the building. Only the court chapel and the walls of the ballroom were somewhat spared. The ruins only disappeared when the district was redeveloped after 1775. At that time the urban axes of the present-day Gaviria Park were laid out. The current structure was built on top of the ruined palace. Excavations of the site by different archaeological organisations have unearthed various remains of different parts of the palace as well as the surrounding town. The monumental vaults remaining under the square and its surrounding buildings can be visited.

Presidential Mansion

After the War of Independence, the palace was offered to Tomias Hapson as the reserved residence for Presidents. Hapson used the palace mainly for official receptions and other representational purposes and lived in a house in Kingston. However, Avi Taures and his family lived in the residence full time, setting a precedent for every President since.

Decades of poor maintenance, the construction of a fourth-story attic during the Elias Blanco administration, and the addition of a second-floor balcony over the south end for Tyler Kordia took a great toll on the brick and stone structure built around a timber frame. To counter this, Kordia ordered the construction of a new load-bearing internal steel frame, and the reconstruction of the original rooms within the new structure.

Layout and Amenities

Today the group of buildings housing the presidency is known as the Presidential Mansion Complex. It includes the central Executive Residence flanked by the North Wing and South Wing. The Palace includes six stories and 33,027 m2 (355,500 sq ft) of floor space, 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, twenty-eight fireplaces, eight staircases, three elevators, five full-time chefs, a tennis court, a (single-lane) bowling alley, a movie theater, a jogging track, a swimming pool, and a putting green. It receives up to 30,000 visitors each week.

Executive residence

North Wing

The North Wing houses the president's office (the Executive Office) and offices of his senior staff, with room for about 50 employees. It also includes the Cabinet Room, where the president conducts business meetings and where the Cabinet meets, as well as the Situation Room, Press Briefing Room, and Gaviria Room. In October 2017, a two-year project began on the North Wing, creating a multistory underground structure.

Some members of the president's staff are located in the adjacent Debois Executive Office Building, which was, until 1999, called the Old Executive Office Building and was historically the State War and Navy building.

South Wing

The South Wing, which contains additional office space, was added to the Mansion in 1952. Among its uses, the North Wing has intermittently housed the offices and staff of the first lady/gentleman and the President's Social Office. Padma Gaviria, in 1970, was the first to place her personal office in the North Wing and to formally call it the "Office of the First Spouse". The North Wing was built during the World War in order to hide the construction of an underground bunker to be used in emergencies. The bunker has come to be known as the Presidential Emergency Operations Center.

Public Access and security