Thomas P. Kennard State Historic Site

Thomas P. Kennard Site

The Kennard House is not currently available for tours


1500 “R” Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508-1651

[email protected]


1627 H Street
Lincoln, NE 68508

Built by Nebraska’s first secretary of state, the Kennard House is the oldest remaining building in Lincoln’s original plat. It was restored as the Nebraska Statehood Memorial to celebrate our centennial in 1967.

The House and its Many Lives

Thomas P. Kennard built this house as a symbol of hope. In 1869, it was one of the first significant structures built in the new capital of Nebraska, Lincoln. To create confidence in the new city, the house was built in the elaborate Italianate Style designed by Chicago architect John. K. Winchell. After the house was sold in 1887 it had several new lives: single family residence, fraternity or sorority house, boarding house and private boys’ home.

New tenants brought changes to the original design. In 1923 the original kitchen-dining room and bedroom wing was demolished and a new kitchen was reworked into the remaining structure.

In 1965 a bill was passed to designate the house as the “Nebraska Statehood Memorial”. The NSHS was appointed to restore the house and interpret the hopes for a new capital in a new state it represents.

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History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
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