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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2000

Governor Unveils Website, Virtual Tour of Executive Mansion

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today unveiled the latest addition to the State of Illinois homepage: a virtual tour of the Governor's Mansion.

"The Illinois Executive Mansion is one of the oldest historical buildings in the state and should be a source of pride for all Illinois residents," Ryan said. "Through these technological advances, I am pleased to be able to share the full richness of the Mansion with people from around the globe."

The virtual tour of the mansion is presented using the latest technology and multiple formats which accommodates a broad range of computer platforms. Tourists will have an opportunity to experience the Mansion's dramatic panoramas and historical background while viewing the collections of antique furniture and art. The tour can be a primer for those planning to tour the Mansion in person, a refresher for those who have visited or a unique opportunity for those who cannot physically visit, Ryan added.

The Mansion has served as the official residence of Illinois' governors and their families since Governor Joel Matteson took up residence there in 1855. Designed in an Italianate style by John Murray Van Osdel, the three-story structure has an "H" shape floor plan. The exterior has been remodeled five times with the last renovations occurring in 1971-72 when the house was expanded. The Mansion has received presidents, foreign dignitaries, mayors, legislators and other national figures. The first family also continues to offer public tours of the house.

The virtual tour of the Mansion is just part of the changes to update the State of Illinois homepage. "The new homepage combines efficiency with a unique showcase of all Illinois has to offer online," Ryan said. "Above all, this homepage is bringing government closer to the people."

"The new homepage enables easy access to the full range of government services as well a wealth of information, presented in an entertaining and efficient format," said Mary Reynolds, Chief Technology Officer.

"Government has "come home" to every corner of Illinois. From hunting and fishing licenses to boating registrations, selecting a college to getting a degree, discovering a bed and breakfast to routing your trip, from filing taxes to renewing a professional license, from planning a conference to starting a business - it's Illinois online," said Reynolds.

The homepage can be found at  www.state.il.us. The Mansion virtual tour is an icon on the state homepage or located directly at: www.state.il.us/gov/mansion2.



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