Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes don’t have to use their energy to fight the chill now that Mahonia Hall has undergone an energy-efficiency upgrade that included 29 Indow Windows!
Mahonia Hall was one of the first public buildings in the pipeline to benefit from the State Building Innovation Lab created in 2012 to reduce energy consumption in public buildings throughout Oregon. On the National Register of Historic Places, the mansion is grand and spacious, but was drafty and cold. At one time it carried the moniker Pneumonia Hall.
A team of energy-efficiency experts including Indow Windows, Neil Kelly Home Performance, Clean Energy Works Oregon and Energy Trust of Oregon came together to donate time and materials to make the the governor and first lady more comfortable and save taxpayers money.
Neil Kelly air-sealed cracks and swapped out 100 incandescent light bulbs for more energy efficient LEDs. But because of the building’s historic status, the governor and first lady had to be careful with their energy efficiency upgrades. One thing they couldn’t touch were the beautiful single-pane windows – essential to the mansion’s character – even though they felt like they were open when they weren’t. Indow Windows was the answer.
“Indow Windows gave us an innovative approach,” First Lady Hayes told a roomful of reporters at a press conference on the energy-efficiency upgrades. “We can keep the thermostat lower than we could have a year ago with these improvements.”
The final numbers aren’t in, but Mahonia Halls energy bills have been lower each month compared with the same month the year before. Not only is Mahonia Hall more livable and comfortable, but Hayes said it reflects her and Gov. Kitzhaber’s commitment to energy efficiency.
“In the governor’s 10-year energy plan, one of our key strategies is to meet future demand for electricity through energy conservation,” she said.
“We really wanted to make sure that we were walking the talk at Mahonia Hall as well. We use this beautiful old place a lot for state business.
It’s often the very first taste of Oregon that out-of-state and even out-of-country guests get and we wanted to make sure we were practicing what we preach with energy-efficiency here.” And while all the energy-efficient upgrades have made the mansion more comfortable, First Lady Cylvia Hayes herself adds another kind of warmth.
She took the entire press conference on a lively, welcoming cellar-to-ballroom tour of this unique building that was built for hop farmer Thomas Livesley by Ellis Lawrence, the founder of the University of Oregon School of Architecture (beer lovers take note!).
Once called the T.A. Livesley House it was renamed Mahonia in 1988 after the Oregon state flower, Mahonia aquifolium.
In the room with the green comfy couches, she said they relax with their loyal Rhodesian ridgeback, Tessa, who follows the first lady everywhere. The tour stopped in the dining room (with its Indow Windows!) and the table made by people in prison industries who stood on the massive wood surface with golf shoes to etch its beautiful, unique finish.
The house no longer has servants, but First Lady Hayes pointed out the operable servant buttons in the kitchen (which she has pressed to get a steaming cup of coffee from Gov. Kitzhaber!).
Upstairs are bedrooms (with Indow Windows) and guest rooms in the old servant quarters. On the third floor is the old ballroom with a small, pointed door that leads to a tucked-away former cards and smoking room. No furniture up here but a perfect space for shuffleboard or a cartwheel competition.
Indow Windows is honored to be a part of the story of this special place in Oregon’s past and future as we work to make the state more energy efficient and reduce its carbon footprint!
To see more great photos, check out some of the press coverage in The Statesman Journal, Seattle P-I, and the San Francisco Chronicle.