2018-05-11 / Society

Kensington open for tours

Contributed by International Paper

International Paper and Historic Columbia announced plans to open Kensington, located on the property of IP’s Eastover, S.C. Paper Mill, for public tours June 9, 2018. Kensington is an antebellum site long recognized as a historic landmark in Richland County.

Tours will focus on the recently completed restoration and rehabilitation of Kensington Mansion, the site’s unique architectural features and information about the families who lived and worked at the site. To purchase tickets, go to www.HistoricColumbia.or g/Kensington. Space is limited.

“We are excited to work with Historic Columbia in re-opening Kensington to the community for a special tour event,” said Page Boden, communications manager, International Paper. “Historic Columbia has been an invaluable partner and advisor throughout the entire Kensington restoration and rehabilitation.”

The project focused on maintaining the historic integrity of the mansion. It is considered a hybrid restoration and rehabilitation because it included preserving, repairing and/or replacing existing fabric, while restoring and upgrading systems to ensure the property is functional and safe.

Maintenance and repairs were necessary after the mansion roof sustained damage from an ice storm in 2014. Work on the mansion included a full roof replacement and significant interior and exterior repairs.

“International Paper has done an outstanding job at Kensington,” said Robin Waites, executive director, Historic Columbia. “The restoration and rehabilitation of two of the site’s structures shows the company’s commitment to ensuring this nationally significant property is preserved and protected for future generations. Historic Columbia is delighted to join International Paper in re-introducing Kensington to the public.”

A slave dwelling is also located approximately one half-mile from the mansion. IP has initiated an analysis of the cabin to evaluate options for restoration.

“ The company understands the historical significance of all the Kensington properties and will continue to take a thorough and thoughtful approach to preservation efforts across the site,” said Boden. “Just as we have operated in the Eastover community for more than 30 years, we remain committed to being a responsible neighbor and steward.”

Kensington Mansion is a Renaissance Revival Villa style mansion built between 1852 and 1854 as part of the Headquarters Plantation. It has 29 rooms and 12,000 square feet of floor space.

International Paper, formerly Union Camp, purchased the Kensington property in the early 1980s and restored the mansion after it had been used as a storage area for farm equipment, fertilizer, and feed for animals. Over the years, IP has used the property for a variety of company and community purposes, and the property has had varying levels of public access. At this time, Kensington will be opened for select tours one to two times per year to offer the community a chance to learn about the site.

For more information, go to www.HistoricColumbia.org/Kensington.

International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp, and paper products with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, North Africa, India and Russia.

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