Since 1976, many hundreds of community members have been helping to preserve the history and art of the Kemper Center for future generations. The original buildings were once the home of Wisconsin’s first United States Senator, Charles Durkee, and a school for girls, run by the Sisters of St. Mary, called Kemper Hall.
For over 40 years, so many have helped to build the Kemper Center into a thriving historical landmark in Kenosha. And it continues to evolve with the help of dedicated volunteers, staff, guests, and supporters. In 1990, the Anderson Arts Center building was officially added to the Kemper Center grounds.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Kemper Center’s buildings, programs, classes, and events aim to preserve the historic nature of the site, promote an understanding of local history, increase awareness of the arts, and contribute to cultural activities and education in the community.
The Kemper Center is located on 17.5 acres of beautiful Kenosha County Parks land along the Lake Michigan shoreline with an athletic field, walking and biking path, and a beautiful arboretum.
The Arboretum is located between the main Kemper Center buildings and 3rd Avenue, and contains reliable winter-hardy trees as well as rare and unusual trees not commonly seen in the Midwest. Over 70 trees have been planted since 1988, following the tradition of Kemper Hall classes that planted trees in honor of their graduation. Some trees have granite markers that memorialize departed family members and friends. The Arboretum is open every day the Kenosha County Parks are open.
Kemper Center is open by appointment only. Please call (262) 925-8040.
The Durkee Mansion and the Anderson Arts Center are open at differing hours throughout the year.
Historic guided tours of the history and architecture of Kemper Hall, the Durkee Mansion, and the grounds are available by appointment. Tours normally last about 90 minutes, but can be adjusted based on your needs. Our tour groups include senior groups, family groups, students, church groups, Kemper Alumni, and anyone else who appreciates history and the beauty of days gone by. Kemper History Tours for students are available for $3 per student, with a $50 minimum total cost. For questions, information, or additional details about group tours, call us at (262) 925-8040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6501 3rd Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53143