Montgomery – The family of the late business magnate Wynton "Red" Blount has donated his Montgomery mansion and surrounding land to the state of Alabama, which will use it initially to entertain industrial prospects and possibly one day as a governor's mansion.
Blount's children presented a key to the home to Governor Bob Riley in a ceremony yesterday at the estate in east Montgomery.
The donation includes the 12,336-square-foot, Georgian-style home and 103 acres of land around it. The land adjoins the grounds of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, which Blount developed in Montgomery.
The family estimated the donation was worth $28 million.
In addition to the home and land, Blount's children turned over $20 million worth of land in the Blount Cultural Park to the city of Montgomery and announced plans to give $2 million worth of land and office space to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, bringing the total gifts to $50 million.
Blount's oldest son, former gubernatorial candidate Winton Blount, III, said a governor's mansion "would be a good use for it."
Wynton Blount, a former U.S. postmaster general under President Nixon, made his fortune in construction and manafacturing. He died in 2002.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)