C.B. Kennedy Mansion, Canton South Dakota
The Kennedy Mansion, constructed in 1917, was not ordinary for the town of Canton, as many buildings with a similar date of construction were much smaller in design.
A farming region characterizes the surrounding area of downtown Canton. Canton is the county seat of Lincoln County. Settlement in the City of Canton began in 1861 with a small log-front trade dugout. Permanent settlement did not commence until 1866 with immigrants from Missouri. In 1867 the Territorial Legislature organized Lincoln County with Canton as the county seat. Soon after this, the population doubled when, in June of 1868, twenty-three Norwegian immigrant families camped in the Center Square of town until they could build sod or log houses on their homesteads. These families provided the ethnic base for the city, which retains that strong tie today. The railroad came through Lincoln County in 1880 and went directly through the City of Canton. By this time, the government opened approximately 24,000,000 acres of land to homesteaders.
In 1880-81, C. B. Kennedy and his brother, Benjamin, established Kennedy Brothers Law Office in Canton. The brothers and Ben's brother-in-law, purchased a great deal of land in Canton, increasing their individual fortunes. In 1886, C. B. with the assistance of his partners established the Bank of Canton where he served as president. C. B. became a well-known banker in the town of Canton as well as a well-known lawyer in Canton, Madison and the Supreme Court of the Dakota Territory in Yankton. Through his success, he was able to build and manage the telephone and electric companies in Canton, continue his interest in real estate and build the Canton Opera House, which was razed in 1983.
Six weeks before C. B. Kennedy's death on September 29, 1917, the home at 903 North Dakota Street was completed at an approximate cost of $40,000. C. B. Kennedy chose the design for the house and his sons assisted in its construction. Kennedy chose the Colonial Revival style, one popularized in South Dakota from 1890 to 1925.
The C. B. Kennedy Mansion is located on North Dakota Street in the City of Canton, South Dakota. The house is located in a thriving community, just blocks from the commercial core. The house is surrounded by late 20th century structures. The house is an excellent example of an early 20th Century Colonial Revival.
The Kennedy Mansion, built in 1917 is a two story, light colored brick, hipped roof house with a full width porch on the front which wraps around two sides. The house exhibits characteristics of the Colonial Revival design which include: two stories; a porch roof supported by slender columns to form an entry porch; a facade that shows symmetrically balanced windows and center door; low-pitched roof with wide overhanging eaves having decorative brackets beneath; windows with double hung sashes frequently in adjacent pairs. This was a dominant style for domestic building throughout the country during the first half of the 20th century.
The facade of the Kennedy Mansion reflects the Colonial Revival style. The foundation of the porch is brick laid in the common bond pattern. There are five fixed pane windows at the basement level. On either side of the central stairs leading to the front door is a pair of columns supporting the flat porch roof. There are a total of fourteen columns that support the entire porch roof structure. At the eave of the porch roof are dentil details. The first floor has a two story bow window at the southwest corner which has three one-over-one curved glass windows on each floor. Each window in the house has a limestone sill. Slightly off-center is a recessed entry door with one-over-one double hung windows on either side of the entry. To the east of the entry is cottage window. The southeast corner of the house has a darker brick quoin capped with limestone. The second floor has the continuation of the bow window at the southwest corner. Located in the center of the facade is a three-sided oriel window. Each side has a one-over-one double hung window. To the east of the oriel window is a pair of one-over-one double hung windows.
Located at the center of the roof line of each elevation is a broken pediment dormer. The windows are a large pane window topped with a narrow diamond pane window. On either side of this window are narrow one-over-one double hung windows with a narrow diamond pane window in the top sash.
Located in the center below the broken pediment is an oval divided light glass window. The dormers are clapboard sided. The dormer on the facade has a three sided balustrade which follows the line of the oriel window on the second floor.
The east elevation of the Kennedy Mansion features a porte-cochere located in the center of the elevation. There is a half brick wall covered with a flat roof supported by two thin columns. The porte-cochere is a continuation of the wrap-around porch from the facade. From the porte-cochere, there is a short flight of steps leading to the east entry into the house. Above the door is a transom window. To the south of the entry is a cottage window. Adjacent to the entry, on the north side is a narrow, one-over-one double hung window still under the porte-cochere. Beyond the porte-cochere is a pair of one-over-one double hung windows, a fixed diamond pane window and a one-over-one double hung window. The second floor has a bow window slightly off-center. There are three, one-over-one double hung curved glass windows in the bow. The top of each window is a diamond pane. To the south of the bow is a one-over-one double hung window. To the north of the bow window, are four one-over-one double hung windows. The dormer on this elevation has a curved balustrade, which follows the shape of the bow window on the second floor. The northeast corner also has dark brick quoins. The north elevation has a single car garage in the basement at the northwest corner. Between the garage door and the steps leading to the north entry is a retaining wall that allows for plantings. There is a flat roof porch over the entry into the north elevation. Two slender columns support it with balustrades on either side of the columns. The roof also has a balustrade on three sides. To the east of the entry are a pair of one-over-one double hung windows. To the west of the entry, above the garage door, a band of four one-over-one double hung windows. The second floor has two one-over-one double hung windows on the northeast side of the entry. The second floor also has a band of four one-over-one double hung windows identical to the band on the first floor. The dormer at the roofline has no balustrade.
The west elevation has four twelve-over-one double hung windows at the basement level. Located in the center of the elevation is a flat roof bay window with dentils at the roofline. To the south of the bay is cottage window. Also to the south of the bay is a flight of steps leading to the wrap-around porch. The steps are hidden behind a brick half-wall topped with concrete. To the north of the bay window is a band of four one-over-one double hung windows. The second floor has an identical band of four one-over-one windows at the northwest corner. A large cottage window is located above the bay window. To the south of that window are two small square fixed diamond pane windows directly below the roofline. The dormer on this elevation has no balustrade.
The interior of the Kennedy Mansion has many fine decorative elements. Upon entering through the south facade, a guest enters an octagonal foyer with recessed panel wainscoting on the walls of the foyer and also wainscoting leading up the staircase. The flooring is quarter-sawn oak. The foyer also has exposed beams in the ceiling from the Arts and Crafts style. Original light fixtures are found throughout the house.
The northwest corner of the house features a sunroom. Glass French doors lead into the sunroom. Fixed diamond pane windows flank the French doors. Near the sunroom is the butler's pantry, which has built-in oak cabinets including an original ice box.
The second floor has a division of bedrooms and servant quarters. Where bow windows are present on the second floor, bench seats can be found. There is also a flight of stairs to a finished attic. The attic currently is not used. Finally, the house also has a finished basement including space under the wrap-around porch.