Denny Jacobs

Inside Illinois' crumbling governor mansion

Inside Illinois' crumbling governor mansion

Inside the Executive Mansion, plaster fell from the ceilings, black mold took root in the basement and rainwater seeped into the Lincoln bedroom so often that workers draped tarps over the furniture and put a white plastic bucket beside the bed to catch the drips.

Emergency repairs were made, but the mansion remains a mess. On a recent walk through, evidence of water damage could be seen in buckling wallpaper, expansive brown stains in a hallway and a hole in the ceiling of a bedroom honoring a Civil War-era governor. The elevator remains out of commission after a sewer line backed up last summer.

Outside, the once-majestic residence where Illinois governors have stayed for...