South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Kensington Plantation House, Richland County (off S.C. Hwy. 764, Eastover vicinity)
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Facade Right Oblique Left Oblique Left Elevation Rear Elevation
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Main Entrance Outbuilding

Construction of the Kensington Plantation House began in 1851 and was completed in 1853. Its builder, Colonel Richard Singleton, was a wealthy planter of cotton. His sister was Angelica Singleton Van Buren, daughter-in-law and hostess of President Martin Van Buren in the White House. The design is unique in its predominantly Italianate elaboration wedged into a plain farmhouse. In ways, this juxtaposition can be seen as reflecting Singleton, and others like him in South Carolina’s ante-bellum era. Born in a world totally dependent upon agriculture, Singleton sought the luxury and some of the pretense of great wealth in the international sense. Kensington presents contrasts between the avant-garde and the very insular. In feeling, Kensington is a plain South Carolina farmhouse wrapped around an ambitious central section. The central portion of the building is domed with a copper roof surmounted by an iron balustrade. The central portion is flanked by lower wings that have arched colonnades. On the land front is a porte-cochere with arches and pilasters in the Corinthian style with restrained animals motifs. The house is wood, set upon a raised brick basement. The principal hall reaches two-and-one-half stories up to the dome, which contains a skylight of glass. A balcony surrounds the hall at the second floor level. Listed in the National Register January 25, 1971.

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