The Kemper Center is a historical landmark located on 17.5 acres of Lake Michigan shoreline property. Built in 1861, the original Durkee Mansion was a cream-brick, 10-room Italiante Victorian home of former Congressman and U.S. Senator Charles Durkee. Senator Durkee sold the home to St. Matthews Episcopal Church in 1865. The church added new buildings to the home to develop an Episcopal Female Seminary.
Many other changes and additions were made to the mansion over the years, but the free-standing staircase in the foyer remains as it was originally. There may even be some Civil War history tied to the home! Group tours of Kemper Hall, the Durkee Mansion and the grounds are available by appointment.