North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest used unconventional methods to spruce up his government-owned 19th century office using private-sector dollars, business connections and sweat equity.
Forest sought out private firms willing to loan or donate to the state labor, supplies and furniture for the Hawkins-Hartness House, which sits near the Executive Mansion. The 1882 building had cracked plaster, barely working toilets, banks of fluorescent lighting and heaps of exposed electrical wiring.
A Charlotte office furniture company outfitted most of the house, while other companies provided carpet and kitchen fixtures. Forest and his wife bought new lighting and hung up curtains, too.
Forest said his office made sure donations and loans followed state ethics rules. He said a lot of people are willing to lend a hand to help the state.