Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Valley Forge Survey - Kennedy Supplee Mansion

I actually started my survey of Valley Forge National Historical Park with the Kennedy-Supplee Mansion. I see this building every time I travel west on US-422 after passing through King of Prussia. I admire the architecture of this mansion that was built in 1855 by Alexander Kennedy, owner of a limestone mine in Port Kennedy, that existed in what is the park today.

Port Kennedy was a thriving industrial village in 1954, built around the limestone mine and the production of lime.

The mansion and First Presbyterian Church of Port Kennedy, are all that remain of the village of Port Kennedy, that today is cut in half by US-422.

In 1978, the National Park Service acquired the mansion through eminent domain. In 1986, the mansion was leased by the National Park Service to Kennedy Supplee Associates LP for fifty-five years. The KSA, LP restored the building and operated it as the Kennedy-Supplee Mansion Restaurant. The private company entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005. The mansion is now vacant. The grounds are becoming overgrown and the building is showing signs of disrepair.

2.  SOUTH FRONT, FROM SOUTH - Kennedy Mansion, 1050 Port Kennedy Road, King of Prussia, Montgomery County, PA
In 1959, the National Park Service sponsored a survey of the building by the Washington Office of the Historic American Building Survey. Above is one of the photographs from that survey.

The Kennedy Supplee Mansion was an upscale restaurant for two decades.
Date: Monday, May 29, 2006, 12:00am EDT
In 2005, the Philadelphia Business Journal did a story about the closing of the Kennedy-Supplee Mansion Restaurant in which was included the above photograph. Quite a bit of change can be seen from 1959 to 2005. 

In just seven years, since the closing of the restaurant, nature is taking over.

The details of the ironwork are still in good condition on the exterior of the building.

As appears the interior plaster work. This image was captured by placing the lens directly on the pane of window glass from outdoors because the building is justifiably closed to the public.

The trees are beginning to grow and cover the sign painted on the side of the building visible from US-422. I fear the mansion will be forgotten except by vandals and the occasional photographer. I hope that with the addition of the Valley Forge Casino and Resort within walking distance of the mansion, it will soon be put back to use.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved


  1. Yes, it is sad to see such a beautiful building in a state of disrepair. Same with the old Norristown State Hospital Buildings some of them. I am curious about old buildings and the history of them and the people that lived in them. Love the pictures just wish there were more inside and out.

  2. I have driven past Kennedy-Supplee quite a few times since I moved to the are some twenty years ago. The restaurant was open 'til a few years ago, but I never ate a meal there. I guess that is what is called a missed opportunity.

  3. This is a great picture of the beautiful ceiling just peeking in the windows showing my girls that ceiling yesterday. I have always loved this house I hope the park will do something to save it.I hate to see it starting to crumble but I am kind of happy to see those shutters starting to fall off they are so wrong for the house.


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