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"We made the Mansion House our top priority this year with a $75,000 commitment, in recognition of this critical moment for the building's infrastructure. We hope our gift spurs others to make the Mansion House one of their philanthropic priorities for the year to preserve the legacy of this significant building."
— Kenwood Benevolent Society Board
The Kenwood Benevolent Society (KBS) was established in 1902 to support the needs of Oneida Community descendents and is one of the top contributors to the Mansion House annually. A 1902 letter from the KBS committee stated that the organization was "organized in the interest of our common Kenwood home, where so many of the members of the Oneida Community and their children and children's children still reside, and which it is desired to improve in many ways, and make more and more worthy of its founders, and with ample accommodations for such non-residents as may in future choose to make this their home."
This year, the KBS board directed significantly more funding to the Mansion House, in recognition of this critical moment in the building's history. The board hopes that their donation will spur others to do the same. The current board members, all Oneida Community descendants, are: Wilber Allen, Sue Campanie, Jeff Garner, John Hatcher, Connelly Jones, Spencer Noyes, Kelly Rose, Carolyn Strobel, Pody Vanderwall, Marc Wayland-Smith, and Paul Wayland-Smith.
About Kenwood Benevolent Society
This year, OCMH begins the first phase of a 10-year infrastructure project to address critical issues. This initial phase of a 10-year infrastructure project to replace roofs and repair critical masonry. OCMH has raised over $1M to-date through grants and individual gifts. To help close this gap, the Kenwood Benevolent Society, a local organization with roots in the Oneida Community, has committed $75,000.
According to a recent architectural report, “The Mansion House has great bones, but the structure is at a tipping point. There are more than 13 critical roof leaks in every building. If left unattended, these water issues will cause serious and rapid damage to all aspects of the Mansion House. It is beyond urgent.”
This work is the beginning of a multi-year preservation initiative for the Mansion House building, parts of which have stood since 1861. Over the next ten years, OCMH anticipates spending $6.5 million on critical repairs to the roof, facade, foundation, and more. This is the first step in that journey.