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TOPEKA, KS-Governor Bill Graves, First Lady Linda Graves and theirfamily opened the recently renovated executive residence, Cedar Crest,to the public after a dedication ceremony celebrating the refurbishedhome and the adjoining Donor Park at Cedar Crest.

For the past three years, plans have been underway to renovate the71-year-old mansion that had never been overhauled before. Constructiontook 18 months to complete. The contractor for the $4.4 million projectwas Gene Fritzel Construction of Lawrence, KS. The architectural firmhandling the design was Slemmons & Associates of Topeka.

About half of the money for restoration was appropriated by the stateand was spent to completely replace the home’s infrastructure. Includedin the work were new heating, cooling and plumbing systems, as well asthe removal of hazardous waste.

First Lady Linda Graves formed The Friends of Cedar Crest Assocation,which through a capital campaign, raised matching monies for restorationwork.”We were very fortunate to have a governor who would live off site forsuch as long time,” says chief of staff Jenny Rose. “Part of being thegovernor is living in Cedar Crest and enjoying this lovely home. It wasa generous gesture on the governor’s part.”

Cedar Crest is a three-story, 5,980 sf French country chateauthat sits on 244 acres next to a wildlife refuge park. It was donated tothe state by Topeka newspaper publisher Frank MacLennan.

Along with renovation work, a Donor Park at Cedar Crest was built to thewest of the residence. It recognizes those who made the restorationpossible. The park features a bronze honor roll of donors as well as afountain and outdoor gathering area

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