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Constitution Hall, 315 Elmore Street, Lecompton, Douglas County, KS

Constitution Hall, 315 Elmore Street, Lecompton, Douglas County, KS



1993 Charles E. Peterson Prize, First Place
Significance: Constitution Hall was built in 1856, probably by Samuel Jones, sheriff of Douglas County and a notorious proslavery champion. It was a commercial venture designed to house a variety of governmental functions in the newly established capital of the Kansas Territory, Lecompton. A federal land office occupied most of the ground floor. The meeting room upstairs hosted the organizational convention of the Territorial National Democratic Party, a session of the proslavery territorial assembly, both sessions of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention, several sessions of the district and supreme courts, and the first session of the territorial assembly after it came under the control of the antislavery forces. In subsequent years, the building served many functions, from college dormitory to public meeting hall and lodge hall for fraternal organizations. Soon after completion of the original 25' x 34' building, a two story addition was added to the rear, possibly in 1856, extending the building to 25' x 50'. Historical photographs indicate that the building has undergone minor changes through the years; several different entry porches were constructed, exterior stairs to the second floor were added and later removed, a window above the entry door on the east face was removed, and all the windows were replaced around 1906. Constitution Hall became a National Historic Landmark in 1975, and is currently undergoing restoration by the Kansas State Historical Society. During 1991, a major stabilization program was begun. Chimneys and interior finishes were removed to expose the framing. The building was lifted 18" to allow repair of the foundation, sills, floor framing, and first floor studs.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N117
Survey number: HABS KS-64
Building/structure dates: 1856 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: ca. 1856 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1991 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: ca. 1906 Subsequent Work
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 71000312



Historic American Buildings Survey, creator
Kansas State Historical Society
Jones, Samuel
Worrall, Henry
Newton, Barry, faculty sponsor
Brunner, Kurt A, field team
Watts, Dale, field team
University of Kansas, School of Architecture & Urban Design, sponsor
Kansas State Historical Society, sponsor
Cary, Brian, transmitter
Haase-Divine, David W, delineator
Harrington, Steven W, delineator
Schmitz, Edward T, delineator
Winslow, Keri J, delineator
Zabilka, Eric J, photographer
Zabilka, Eric J, delineator


Mobile Lodge of Lecompton39.04555, -95.39484
Google Map of 39.04555, -95.39484


Library of Congress

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