North Dakota gets no takers on old governor's mansion

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota governor's mansion will meet the wrecking ball after no one offered to buy the building and move it to a new location.

The state wanted to preserve the 10,000-square-foot (929-sq. meter) home that has served North Dakota's first families for 57 years, while making way for a larger $5 million mansion that's under construction. But Capitol Facilities Manager John Boyle said no proposals were received on the prairie-style house by the Wednesday night deadline. He said it will be demolished next month.

Boyle said the home would have gone to the highest bidder, and perhaps even given it away to someone willing to move it.

"The idea was to preserve it so it wouldn't be destroyed," Boyle said. "But we didn't get any takers."

Boyle said at least two people expressed interest in moving the home, a local physician and an "elected state official" he wouldn't name. But he said they did not submit a formal offer to the state.

One local house mover estimated the mansion located in the heart of Bismarck would cost at least $250,000 to move and would have been a logistical nightmare in part because of so many trees in the neighborhood.

The Legislature in 2015 approved construction of the new mansion, stipulating that 20 percent of its cost be funded by private donations.

Lawmakers had been attempting to replace the current dwelling for years, saying it is has security issues, is not handicapped-accessible and likely contains lead paint, mold and asbestos.

Boyle said the new 13,500-square-foot mansion will be completed by the time the old home is demolished.

The new home will be the third official residence built for North Dakota's governors. The original was built in 1884 and still stands a few blocks south of the Capitol.

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