Thomas P. Kennard State Historic Site

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. Victorian furnishings and exhibits interpret life in a new capital in a new state. Tours available year-round.

Thomas P. Kennard house

Old photo of the Thomas P. Kennard house

Open by appointment only.

Picture of old pans and pitchers

Renovations are now finished and Nebraska's statehood memorial is open for tours once again!


Admission is FREE, but donations are appreciated.

Black and white photo of the Thomas P. Kennard house

With critical exterior repairs now completed, we are once again open for tours!


Contact Sharon Kennedy at or 402-471-4445 to book a tour.

1627 H Street

Lincoln, NE

Portrait of Thomas P. Kennard

Thomas P. Kennard State Historic Site

1500 "R" Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508-1651


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.

(Photo: Kennard House as being used by the Delta Upsilon Fraternity House, 1915)

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