It has long been part of the political lore in this town how Nancy Reagan refused to stay in the state's long-time governor's mansion a few blocks from the Capitol and now a tourist attraction known as the governor's mansion state historic park.
Here is how political journalist Lou Cannon described the story about the house in his 2003 book, "Governor Reagan, his rise to power:"
"Trading Pacific Palisades was bad enough. Living in a relic that was more suitable as a museum (which it is today) was unthinkable. Nancy Reagan rebelled. She realized that the mansion, which had ropes in the bedrooms instead of fire escapes, was a 'firetrap.' A rusted screen that wouldn't budge covered the window of her son's second-story bedroom. In case of fire, her son was supposed to smash the screen by running at it with a bureau drawer and then climb onto the roof. Nancy Reagan had no difficulty in persuading her husband to move out of the mansion.
"The Reagans, at their own expense, leased a two-story twelve-bedroom Tudor house in an exclusive section of eastern Sacramento.
Here is a 15-second video shot this morning of that house at 1341 45th Street, in a part of the city now called "The Fabulous Forties" for its big well-kept homes.
The second big celebrity residence - 1400 N Street - belonged to Gov. Jerry Brown. Political lore holds that he slept on a mattress on the floor of his apartment near the Capitol. Here is one version from author Dan Flynn's 2000 book, "Inside Guide to Sacramento:'
"During his 1974 campaign for governor, Jerry Brown had vowed not to move into the suburban Governor's Mansion built by outgoing Governor Ronald Reagan, declaring it to be a 'Taj Mahal.' Upon his election, Brown moved into Apartment #10 on the top floor of this Tudor style apartment house, remaining a resident during his eight years as governor. The unconventional Brown kept odd hours and would sometimes stroll over to the Capitol to get some work done in the middle of the night. Ed Meese, attorney general while Ronald Reagan was governor, also lived in this building when he served in Governor Reagan's administration."
Here's the residence today. Check out the top floor.
Where does Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger live? The state still has no governor's mansion. Word is he flies home to Los Angeles at night.
Photo courtesy of City of Sacramento